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Sabra Al-Mansuriyya And Her Neighbors During The First Half Of The Eleventh Century: Investigations Into Stucco Decoration

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Chapter Summary

The social, political, economic, and cultural relations between Sabra al-Mansuriyya and her neighbors were intense, and not always peaceful. The iconography and technique of the stuccos of Sabra al-Mansuriyya are much rougher than those known from the famous Umayyad "desert castles" of the Near East. However, the vocabulary of motifs seems to be more related to that of Syrian Umayyad stucco decoration than to that found in Samarra (in Iraq). It seems that contemporary Andalusian art played a considerable role in the elaboration of some of the vegetal stucco ornaments; this could be detected mainly in the choice of images, that is, the iconography, of the figural group. The dependence of the stucco decoration of Sabra al-Mansuriyya on stucco ornaments of the Islamic world, especially those of the Syrian Umayyad castles and early Abbasid monuments like Raqqa, is generally accepted by scholars but awaits more differentiated study and accurate evaluation.

Keywords: Abbasid monuments; Andalusian art; Islamic world; Sabra al-Mansuriyya; stucco decoration; Syrian Umayyad



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