By AlSulaiti, Fatema

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All decorated surface areas were filled with interrelated motifs and arabesque took hold. Another characteristic was the presence of figural representations derived from Sassanian, as well as the Italian and Byzantine art, specifically with regard to animal representation. 86 Lamm, “Fatimid Woodwork: Its Style and Chronology,” 36-87. : The Reign of al-Zahir and al-Mustansir The middle period demonstrates the height of Fatimid wooden carvings of the open work technique—the princely cycle (portraying royal scenes) with vegetal element scrolls filling the background.

Floral lines, incorporating palmettes and flowers, flow from a central trefoil and interlace smoothly to fill all negative space. The vegetal patterns seem to be dancing placidly to a dulcet rhythm. Two gazelles jump towards each other, enclosed in a large trefoil-shaped border that takes the form of their bodies to create harmony between the figural and vegetal decoration. A thick decorative column grows from a small spade suit symbol composed of two wing-shaped leaves to join the gazelles together.

It will present a series of motifs that affected the artistic style of Fatimid wood, resulting from the Isma‘ili Fatimid policy of religious tolerance. The chapter will also highlight the development that woodworking experienced during two centuries of Fatimid rule. 86 The first period reflects a substantial influence of the Tulunid style the 9th century. Characterized by Samarra style C, which was a mixture of the beveled cut and abstract patterns based on vegetal motifs, was a predominant influence.

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Fatimid Woodwork in Egypt: Its Style, Influences and Development by AlSulaiti, Fatema


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