The Alhambra, the Nasrid Islamic palace-city in Granada, Spain, and the Palace of the Popes in Avignon, France, are both largely 14th century aggregative structures that have traditionally been considered on opposite sides of an artificially-created dividing line between ‘East’ and ‘West’. However, in this comparative project based on my dissertation research, I argue that both of these sites are actually quite similar and should be considered in the sense of their ultimate purposes in the realms of both the sacred and the secular and less in respect to a particular geographic region or religious tradition.
This paper seeks to explore the examples of Christian figures on Islamic enamelled and gilded vessels and fragments from the 13th and 14th century. Technique of enamelling on glass has been perfected in the Middle East in the 13th century with a variety of vessels, of all shapes and sizes. Usual Islamic decoration would be limited to the imagery of courtly pleasures and entertainment, but 13th century Middle East was far from a homogeneous entity and iconographic sources attest for a rich mixture of cultures, religions, and people. The paper will explore the term ‘other’ in a context of fluid relationships in the 13th century Middle East and will focus on evaluating three Islamic enamelled and gilded objects with Christian motifs: the beaker from the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, the bottle from the Furussiya Arts Foundation, Vaduz, and a glass horn from the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. Once brought to Europe such objects became all together another ‘other’ – a new, exquisite, and opulent foreign item that found its way in to private collections and Church treasuries.
This paper is focused on Romanesque Art as a way of communicating and approaching the ‘other’, the ‘neighbour’ in the Portuguese-Leonese border. This territory is a representative example of frontier in Europe during the Middle Ages. Despite its conflictive status, this territory reflects the cohabitation through Romanesque art. The flourishing of Romanesque was produced at the same time, and the different architectural and sculptural patterns and artistic workshops were expanded between the Portuguese and the Leonese sides. Our aim is to analyse the reasons why this happened and highlight representative examples of artworks which approached this neighbouring kingdoms