The Medieval period

This period saw the Crusades, the Mongol invasions, and the rise of the powerful Timurid empire.

c. 900 - 1517 C.E.

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Bifolium from the Pink Qur’an
Bifolium from the Pink Qur’an

Pages dyed pink, script from the Maghreb, and gold medallions make this Qu'ran especially spectacular

Sultanate art and architecture, an introduction
Sultanate art and architecture, an introduction

Mosques, tombstones, textiles, and murals are only a few examples of the art and architecture created on the Indian subcontinent in the sultanates.

The Qutb complex and early Sultanate architecture
The Qutb complex and early Sultanate architecture

The Qutb archaeological complex and the Delhi Sultanate are important chapters in Indo-Islamic architectural history.

Madrasa and Friday Mosque of Sultan Hasan, Cairo
Madrasa and Friday Mosque of Sultan Hasan, Cairo

The madrasa-mosque of Sultan Hasan remains one of the most ingeniously designed mosques in the history of Islamic architecture.

Mamluk bindings
Mamluk bindings

Book bindings made in Egypt and Syria during the reign of the Mamluk Sultanate represent the pinnacle of Islamic book design.

Aleppo
Aleppo

Located at the crossroads of several trade routes from the 2nd millennium B.C., Aleppo was ruled successively by the Hittites, Assyrians, Arabs, Mongols, Mamelukes and Ottomans

Khalaf, <em>Pyxis</em>
Khalaf, Pyxis

he exquisite, lidded container is sculpted out of ivory and dated to the mid-10th century during the reign of the Umayyad dynasty in Spain.

Conservation: The Nasrid plasterwork collection at the V&A
Conservation: The Nasrid plasterwork collection at the V&A

A conservator at the V&A discusses new discoveries that have uncovered new information on their materials, techniques, history and provenance

Folio from a <em>Shahnama</em>, The Bier of Iskandar (Alexander the Great)
Folio from a Shahnama, The Bier of Iskandar (Alexander the Great)

Alexander, the Mongols, and the great epic of Iran.

<em>Bahram Gur Fights the Karg (Horned Wolf)</em>
Bahram Gur Fights the Karg (Horned Wolf)

In this hunting scene from the Persian Book of Kings, the ruler Bahram lives up to his nickname “Gur,” or swift.

Mohammed ibn al-Zain, Basin (<em>Baptistère de Saint Louis</em>)
Mohammed ibn al-Zain, Basin (Baptistère de Saint Louis)

Vessels like this one were typically decorated with calligraphy, but a procession of figures is featured here.

Mihrab from Isfahan (Iran)
Mihrab from Isfahan (Iran)

This prayer niche once pointed students towards Mecca. Its blue and white patterns comprise verses from the Qur’an.

Selected Contributors