A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

The Influence: Andalusian Treasures


Here’s something I can aghazel for hours- isn’t this one of the most gorgeously mesmerizing pieces of art you’ve ever seen? It is practically heavenly.

Ahhh! The concoction of arabesque-style ornamentation, the slender elegance of the animals with their graceful lines and flexibility, and the beautiful mix of cobalt blue and gold just captivates my senses.

This beautiful vase is a part of a Nasrid ornamental storage collection of vases referred to as the Alhambra Vases(13th and 14th centuries). I believe that the Nasrids, the last ruling Muslim dynasty in Spain, famous for their intricate patterning and beautiful architecture of the city of Granada, reached the pinnacle of Islamic art.

I also find it ironic that the Alhambra vases, which as far as I’m concerned are the most spectacular examples of all Islamic ceramics, were produced in a tiny domain, doomed to rapid extinction, on the outer fringes of the Muslim world.


Unfortunately, these gorgeous works are underappreciated, so there aren’t many good resources online that discuss them further. If you’re really interested, I’d recommend taking a look at “Al-Andalus: The Art of Islamic Spain” by Jerrilynn Dodds or “The Arab Contribution to Islamic Art” by Wijdan both available at Darat Al-Funun‘s library.

: The Influence
:Jackson Pollock


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  1. Anonymous

    Moslem Spain was heir to the Romans, the German Visigoths, and the Spanish Kelts. The animals on the vase are nearly identical to Keltic works, in the Irish Book of Kells, for example. The flourishes are Arabic calligraphy transformed into pure art, and the shape of the vase is that of a Romano Grecian amphora.
    I hope it doesn’t take our world four hundred years to produce a harmonic society that can make a beautiful, strong hybrid like this

    Bruce Dearborn Walker

  2. Anonymous

    Why such a surprise?They are part of a Medierranean culture, developed also in this part of the world. They were meant to hold water, acting as filters…

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