Samara remains one of the significant site to Islamic art. As the site was the capital for a short while i.e. from 836 to 892, its artifacts can be classified in a given date that is specific and provides a reliable foundation to compare other arts from other eras and regions. For instance, the Polychrome luster tiles can be compared to those that were found in Egypt, Tunisia, Syrian and the wide Asia. The site also offers several artistic developments that have significantly influenced the emergence of Samara. This can be found on the decorative technique for carved or molded stucco, wood and stone and architectural ornament that applied recapping and doubtless vegetal inspired themes with oblique edges.
This technique is often called the Beveled or Samarra Style to distinguish it from high-relief carving. The finds from Abbasid Samarra also attest to the use in the ninth century of a new type of ceramic finish with metallic glazes, called luster. Finally, the presence in Samarra of various motifs, images, and styles. Among other places where Lusterware was produced in large quantities were Egypt at the time of Fatimid caliphate between 10th-12th centuries. In addition, the production of lusterware was evident in the Middle East as well as it spread to Europe through Al-Andalus. It is in Malaga that the Hispani-Moreque Ware was first established before it advanced to Valencia and later to Italy to enhance Maiolica. Later in the 16th century Gubbio adopted the lustered maiolica characterized by rich ruby red and at Deruta
Another type of luster was the metallic luster that produced English lusterware. The new luster was used as imparts in pieces of pottery that portrayed an appearance of an object of gold, silver or copper. In other term, the Silver luster used Platinum whose chemical properties were first analyzed. To get the product, small amounts of highly dilute powdered platinum or gold were added and dissolved in aqua regia. After that, spirits of tar and turpentine flowers and sulfur were added to the platinum while linseed oil was added to gold. The resultant mixture was then applied on the glazed ware and fired using an enameling kiln to make a thin film deposit of gold or platinum.
Among other artifacts that appeared in Samara were Stucco Decoration. The artistic elements and styles represented the abstraction of stems, scrolls and leaves that showed decorative vocabulary of Antiquity. As at this time, the degree of abstraction portrayed three styles. One was a vine-leave ornament bearing that was the same as the Hellenistic with a naturalizing origin. The second was the vegetal ornament which portrayed some abstraction that did not have stalks from which the leaves grew. The third pattern was the molded pattern with an abstract combining vegetal and geometric themes. The patterns were commonly inscribed within the edges.
For the platinum produced the show of solid silver and was used in the middle class in patterns that were similar to those used in the silver lustering. Apart from the lustering the concentration of gold in the compound was applied under the slip with various colors up for option such as pale rose, copper, lavender and gold. The gold luster was more admirable and could be utilized for different paints and stenciled on the ware. Another option was to apply the resist technique, where the background was lustered solidly to have the design that would remain in the body color. The resist technique was the same as the Batik where paint was used together with the glue compounded together with honey or glycerin compound. The luster was then applied by dipping it inside and the resist was washed off before firing the piece.
Polychrome luster painting on glass declined at the end of the 14th century. However, it remains one of the best invention in the Islamic culture and it never disappeared completely which saw its revival in the 16th century. Polychrome luster tiles remains one of the best representation of the ancient Samara which was the capital of the Islamic court as well as the capital of the Islamic culture in the 9th century. Various artifacts have not been excavated in Samara and more can be deduced from their finding it they are to be excavated through the supervision of the UNESCO. The Polychrome luster tiles is adopted in various technology and museums as the latest means of understanding the ancient architecture as well as the history of the Mesopotamia. It also helps to understand the ancient time when the latest technology was not available to make these products. Syria, Egypt, and India are among other places where Polychrome luster tiles have been found showing their spread and adoption in various use apart from the tiles in buildings.
Bloom, Jonathan, ed. The Grove encyclopedia of Islamic art and architecture. Oxford University Press, 2009.
Degeorge, Gerard, and Yves Porter. The art of the Islamic tile. Flammarion-Pere Castor, 2002.
Kana'an, Ruba. "Architectural Decoration in Islam: History and Techniques." In Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures, pp. 187-199. Springer Netherlands, 2008.
Komaroff, Linda. "Color, Precious Metal, and Fire: Islamic Ceramics and Glass." The Arts ofFireIslamic Influences on Glass and Ceramic of the Italian Renaissance, Los Angeles (2004): 35-55.
Makovicky, Emil, and Nicolette M. Makovicky. "The first find of dodecagonal quasiperiodic tiling in historical Islamic architecture." Journal of Applied Crystallography 44, no. 3 (2011): 569-573.
Molina, Gloria, Michael S. Tite, Judit Molera, Aurelio Climent-Font, and Trinitat Pradell. "Technology of production of polychrome lustre." Journal of the European Ceramic Society 34, no. 10 (2014): 2563-2574.
Rosser-Owen, Mariam. "Arts of the City Victorious: Islamic Art and Architecture in Fatimid North Africa and EgyptBy Jonathan M. Bloom." Journal of Islamic Studies 20, no. 1 (2009): 114-118.
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