Glassware decoration

Islamic civilization played a major role in inspiring Islamic 

stained.  glass art from the 8th century onwards

Islamic stained glass art and its first home

. As mosques, homes, and cities were transformed into beautiful spaces decorated with glass, beauty and function were essential elements of design in Islamic civilization.

Perhaps in an effort to supply thousands of mosques, and also thanks to the input provided by burgeoning scientific activity in fields such as optics and chemistry.

Glassmakers in Islamic civilization transformed what had been a craft until then into a craft that refers to the art of Islamic stained glass as an industry that used new techniques and a large number of workers from across Islamic civilization.

Who was the first to discover the art of Islamic stained glass in ancient history?

Throughout Islamic civilization, glassware was produced in large quantities from the 8th century either by blowing liquid glass into chambers or cutting it from crystal, glassmakers in Syria and Egypt inherited and improved the Roman glass industry, developing their own technique to perfect the art of Islamic stained glass, its coloring .and decoration, and expanding the variety of products.

Syrian glass

Excavations in Syria and other parts of Islamic civilization have

uncovered a huge amount of glassware. Aleppo in Syria was mentioned as a center for the glass and decorative industry by the geographers Yaqut al-Hamawi (d. 1229) and al-Qazwini (d. 1283). Ibn Battuta (d. 1377) also described Damascus as a center for the glass industry. Egypt, Iraq, and Andalusia also produced. glass in large quantitie s

Glass from the Islamic civilization, especially glass from Syria, was highly valued throughout the world, glass objects have been discovered at medieval European sites in Sweden and southern Russia, and even fragile objects such as 13th-century Syrian enamelled glass have been found in Sweden.

In the early 14th century, more than 300 years after Ibn Sahl, the astronomer and mathematician Kamal al-Din al-Farsi experimented with a glass ball filled with water to analyze the way sunlight penetrates the colors of the spectrum of the rainbow, and he observed the rays that produced the colors of the rainbow.

Decorative art

The rise of Islam, and the resulting expansion of Islamic lands during the seventh century AD, it ultimately led to the development of Islamic stained glass art and the emergence of a society that kept alive many of the achievements that had been. lost in the West

Mosaic glass, cast and cut ware, and die-blown ware continued to

be manufactured, and beginning in the 9th century, new decorative approaches emerged, the major advance began with the discovery that glass could be coated with mineral stains, giving rise to a type of glass known as luster porcelain due to its distinctive luster, this was The first colored. stained glass

The Arab Muslim artist created a new type of beautiful decoration, including discs, animal drawings, Kufic writing using a machine resembling tweezers, or seals with engraved inscriptions.

The manufacturer also introduced the method of decoration with disks and threads added to the surface of the vessels.

These lines are either zigzag or in the form of wavy bands, discs, or dots in the same color as the vessel or in a different color.

The glass threads were pulled hot in one or two opposite directions, forming many different shapes like saw teeth.

Gilding and coloring glass

The Muslim artist invented the method of gilding and enamel painting, they used to place golden decorations on the antiques using a brush when drawing the outer lines and with a brush in large areas.

 After the maker fired the vessel in the oven for the first time, he determined the subject of the drawing in red, then he painted it with different colored enamels.

The semi-transparent enamel paint was composed of melted lead and then colored with metallic oxides, if a green color was wanted, copper oxide was added to the glass, and by adding iron oxide, the color red was obtained, while yellow was obtained from antimony acid, white from tin oxide, and blue by adding lapis lazuli powder.

In the Fatimid era

The crystal industry flourished in Egypt during the Fatimids, an crystal stone is a natural stone with attractive transparency, it is found on the coast of the Red Sea, and anklets, cups, leaves, and bottles were made from it.

The Persian traveler Nasser Khusraw was impressed by the glassware that he saw when he visited the Qandil Market near the Amr Ibn Al-Aas Mosque, he praised them and described them as beautiful and creative, in addition to their solidity and beautiful appearance.

Mamluk era

In the Mamluk era in Egypt and Syria, the glass lamps covered with enamel were considered the pride of the glass industry.

The Mamluk sultans (kings) acquired these glass lamps  and decorated mosques with them, the lamp bottles are white to dark yellow, while the enamel they are decorated with is red, blue, green, and white, their decoration consists of writings within spaces and regions.

Islamic stained glass art in Andalusia

In Andalusia, glassware was blown in Almeria, Malaga, and Murcia in imitation of Oriental wares, like the glass cups that were a favorite on the tables of Lyon in the tenth century.

It is said that the technique of cutting crystal was introduced by Abbas Ibn Firnas (d. 887), a researcher and inventor in the court of Abd al-Rahman II and Muhammad I, it is worth noting here the genius of Ibn Firnas, who was not only able to decipher the most complex writing codes, but also attempted to fly by helicopter, by building artificial wings.

Regarding glass, he was aware of the scientific properties of glass, and contributed to the early experimentation with lenses and the idea of enlarged text using them, he also lent his skills to Cordova's glass-making furnaces, and represented the sky in glass, which he was able to make clear or cloudy, with lightning and thunder noises, with the push of a finger.

Egyptian and Syrian glass and metal works were appreciated. In addition to many products of Mesopotamia and Moorish Spain being highly regarded as being clearly superior to anything that could be made in Western Europe at the time, it was largely imitation in the art of Islamic stained glass, which contributed to the eventual rise of Western products to Franchise.

The transfer of crystal manufactures to Europe

Most of the antiques made of crystal moved to the palaces and churches of Europe, where Europeans admired them and began to buy and acquire them.

It is still preserved in the Cathedral of San Marco in Venice, and the basis of its decoration is a drawing of two lions with a tree between them and between the neck of the jug and its body, a Kufic inscription that reads (A blessing from God for the dear Imam).

There is another masterpiece in the shape of a crescent in the Nuremburg Museum in Germany, and it bears the Kufic inscription (All religion belongs to God - Al-Zahir li’azaz, the religion of God, the Commander of the Faithful).

A third masterpiece is in the cathedral of the city of Fermo, Italy, on its body is a decoration of two birds facing each other with plant branches of great precision and perfection, above the drawing is a strip of Kufic writing with the phrase (Blessing and joy for King Al-Mansur, that is, the ruler by the command of God Al-Mansur).)

This is in addition to other antiques in the Louvre Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Pitti palace in France, and others.

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