A glimpse on Metalworks of Mosul School in Safavid Era

Impact of Iranian Artists on Mosul Metal Arts

Metalworks of Mosul School in Safavid Era, a book by Salah Husayn Al-Ubaydi, is translated to Persian by Mohammad Afrouq and Masoud Ahmadi as the first comprehensive academic research on a branch of Islamic Art that is made by an Arab Muslim researcher.
Impact of Iranian Artists on Mosul Metal Arts
IBNA: “Metalworks of Mosul School in Safavid Era” is penned by Sala Husayn Al-Ubaydi, Iraqi art researcher. The book makes a survey of different types of metalwork including metal vases, astronomical instruments, candlesticks, stoups, pans and other metal artworks of Mosul during the Safavid Era.

Metal Arts flourished during the fifth to seventh hijri centuries of the Iranian-Islamic centuries. The art made room for more creativity of Iranian artists of the time who could apply various techniques and instruments of their time. They were not only the most beautiful artworks of their time, they were also the best in terms of practicality.

This is the first valid academic research on an important branch of arts in Islamic countries by an Arab Muslim researcher, especially since almost all sources are written by western researchers or Orientalists.

Through sophisticated analysis of pictures and images inscribed on these artifacts, Al-Ubaydi proves his mastery over Islamic history and culture. Nevertheless the book has got some defects as follows:

Mosul was a strategic place and center of arts before the emergence of Islam and during the Sasanian Era. It had also had a good reputation for metalwork during the Seljuqi period. However, most historiographers have identified its artists as followers of the Khorasani metal artists.

The inscribed images of the Sasanian Era including the iconography of gods and Persian kings as well as mythical figures found their way through the Islamic period. And while the structure and types of images are the same, their contents show minor differences.

But the author takes for granted the influence of Sasanian and Khorasani arts on Islamic art of Mosul. In that period for safety reasons many artists from the Great Khorasan migrated to Mosul and Bagdad and this proves their interrelations.

It is pretty surprising that for the completion of this research the author has observed all metal works in Cairo Islamic Arts Museum, Britain, and London’s Victoria & Albert, but does not bother to pay a visit to metal works in museums of Tehran.

Another defect in the translated book is its faulty bibliography. Iranian researchers would have made benefit from the original sources of this research or an index to names and places. However, the problem seems to be rooted in the original text.

Iran and Iraq are both located in the context of Islamic Civilization, yet there is no meaningful interaction between the faculties of art universities of the countries.

“Metalworks of Mosul School in Safavid Era” is written by Salah Husayn Al-Ubaydi and cotranslated by Mohammad Afrouq and Masoud Ahmadi. It is published by Jamal Honar in 1000 copies and 227 pages.
Story Code : 163334
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