Barker, Gillian. "Cultural History of the Islamic Garden (7th to the 14th Centuries)." Syllabus, [location and date not given.]
This document is a syllabus reflecting course content developed for "Cultural History of the Islamic Garden (7th to the 14th Centuries)," developed by Dr. Gillian Barker.
The central theme of this course is the articulation of medieval Islamic gardens in terms of their relationship to the history of the landscape beyond the garden, Islamic cultural and literary history, architectural history and contemporary ideas about perception. How gardens were understood in terms of diversity and different contexts clarify this theme: landscape and garden culture in the Umayyad period, Solomonic themes, mosque development in relation to the garden, and how Damascus served as an example of a city garden setting.
Two case studies develop the idea of unity. In twelfth and thirteenth century Sicily a sense of unity was achieved by setting gardens and architecture within the landscape around Palermo. Norman rulers, sometimes called 'Baptized Sultans', and their successor, Frederick II, developed and extended this landscape, and were all influenced by Islamic geography, science and learning. In the second case study, the Court of the Lions, at The Alhambra, a sense of unity was achieved by the garden's architectural setting and the role of inscriptions in guiding the viewers' perceptions.
Section One: Introductory Themes
The historical context of the Islamic garden Definitions and classifications of garden and landscape Ideas about perception and garden history Islamic garden history: sources The Islamic garden and the idea of paradise
Ardalan, Nader, Bakhtiar, Laleh, The Sense of Unity: The Sufi Tradition in Persian Architecture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973).
Blair, Sheila, S, Bloom, Jonathan M., 'The Mirage of Islamic Art: Reflections on the Study of an Unwieldy Field', The Art Bulletin, 85 (2003), 152-184.
Clark, Emma, The Art of the Islamic Garden (Wiltshire: The Crowood Press, 2004).
Conan, Michel, ed., Perspectives on Garden History (Washington DC: 1999).
Conan, Michel, ed., Middle East Garden Traditions: Unity and Diversity (Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2007).
Conan, Michel, ed., Gardens and Imagination: Cultural History and Agency (Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2008).
Flood, Finbarr Barry, The Great Mosque of Damascus: Studies in the Makings of an Umayyad Visual Culture (Leiden: Brill, 2001).
Hamilton, R.W. Khirbat al-Mafjar: An Arabian Mansion in the Jordan Valley (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1959).
Hillenbrand, Robert, Islamic Architecture: Function, Form and Meaning (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1994).
Keenan, Brigid, Damascus: Hidden Treasures of an Old City (London: Thames and Hudson, 2000).
Mackintosh-Smith, Tim, 'The Secret Gardens of Sana'a', Saudi Aramco World, 57.1 (2006).
Soucek, Priscilla P., 'Solomon's Throne/Solomon's Bath: Model or Metaphor', Ars Orientalis 23 (1993), 104-134.
Strika, Vicenzo, 'The Umayyad Garden: Its Origin and Development', Journal of the Islamic Environmental Design Research Centre, 1 (1986), 72-75.
Section Five: Two Case Studies
Landscape and garden in medieval Sicily
The Court of the Lions at the Alhambra
Gonzalez, Valerie, 'The Comares Hall in The Alhambra and James Turrell's Space that Sees: A Comparison of Aesthetic Phenomenology', Muqarnas XX (2003) 253-278.
Irwin, Robert, The Alhambra (London: Profile Books, 2004).
Leone, N., and others, eds., Siculo-Norman Art: Islamic Culture in Medieval Sicily (Vienna: Museum Without Frontiers, 2004).
Johns, Jeremy, The Royal Diwan: Arabic Administration in Norman Sicily (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).
Massetti, Marco, 'In the gardens of Norman Palermo, Sicily', Anthropozoologica, 44 (2), (2009), 7-34.
Masson, Georgina, Italian Gardens (London: Thames and Hudson, 1961).
Petruccioli, Attilio, and Khalil K. Pirani, eds., Understanding Islamic Architecture (London: Routledge Curzon, 2002).
Rabbat, Nasser, 'The Palace of the Lions, Alhambra and the role of water in its conception', Journal of the Islamic Environmental Design Research Centre, 2 (1985) 64-73.
Ruggles, D. Fairchild, 'Arabic Poetry and Architectural Memory in Al-Andalus', Ars Orientalis, 23 (1993) 172-178.
Ruggles, D. Fairchild, 'The Eye of the Sovereignty: Poetry and Vision in the Alhambra's Lindara Mirador', Gesta XXXV1/2 (1997) 180-189.
Tabbaa, Yasser, 'Towards an interpretation of the use of water in Islamic courtyards and courtyard gardens', Journal of Garden History, 7 (1987), 197-220.
Tabbaa, Yasser, The Transformation of Islamic Art during the Sunni Revival (Washington: Washington University Press, 2001).
Section Six: Conclusions and Suggestions for Further Study
The interdisciplinary nature of garden and landscape history
Issues raised by the study of the Islamic garden history
Influences on the work of twentieth and twenty-first century Western garden designers, for example: Jacques Majorelle, John Brookes, Russell Page, Fernando Caruncho.
Suggestions for further study: poetry and the Islamic garden, Islamic garden history and the decorative arts, the role of science and technology in Islamic garden history, redefining ideas about paradise, Islamic garden history and environmentalism.