Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here


No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Muqarnas Online

Scholarship on the luster-painted ceramics produced in Iraq during the high Abbasid Period (ninth and tenth centuries) has traditionally emphasized the stylistic differences among the assemblage most perceptible to art historians today, such as the use of figural versus non-figural imagery, pointing to a change in taste over time. Few studies, however, ask how these objects would have appeared to the audiences for whom they were produced. What did people in Abbasid Iraq expect from a work of craft and what formal qualities were most salient? To what extent are these documented interests resonant with the development of lusterware in the Abbasid Period? In this essay, I argue that the whole range of types possesses visible characteristics that fulfil a significant aesthetic expectation held for works of craft in Abbasid Iraq: that they produce an experience of pleasurable wonder for the beholder, known as ‘ajab in Arabic. Through defining an “aesthetics of ‘ajab,” I suggest that the ostensible differences among the assemblage often emphasized in art-historical scholarship may not have been as significant to Abbasid-period viewers.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Muqarnas Online — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation