“The Fatimid caliphs who ruled Egypt from 969 to 1171 are justly famed for their generous patronage of architecture and the arts and for their lavish ceremonies. Almost immediately after they moved from North Africa, where they had ruled for half a century, to Egypt, where they founded their new capital of al-Qahira, men and women of the Fatimid court began to finance major buildings. The arts of Egypt, most notably textiles and ceramics, flourished. While something of their character was anticipated in the artistic production of Tulunid Egypt, nothing known from that period quite prepares us for the splendid creativity that drew upon the traditions not only of Egypt but also of the entire medieval Mediterranean world.”
Bloom, Jonathan M. “The Origins of Fatimid Art.” Muqarnas, Vol. 3 (1985), pp. 20-38.
Comment on and contextualize the passage from Jonathan Bloom’s article by referencing and discussing in detail specific buildings and works we have discussed in class, and that you have read about as part of your readings. Discuss specific developments we looked at in class. Reference historical texts you have read that talk about the splendor of the Fatimid court. Use the whole repertoire of tools available to you, such as description, comparison, structure (introduction, discussion, conclusion), references/citations, and interpretation.