V&A Style in Islamic Art Quiz

Spanish Umayyad style

The Umayyad dynasty seized power in Spain in the 750s and broke away from the Abbasid empire. As a result, a local style of art developed, especially after 929 when a later ruler declared himself caliph. The Umayyads employed many Roman and Byzantine forms, probably to distinguish themselves from their Abbasid rivals, but they shared with the Abbasids the use of Arabic inscriptions and stylised leaf motifs. They died out after 1031, but the Umayyad style remained influential in Spain and Morocco.

Interior of the Great Mosque, Córdoba, Spain
© P.Scholey/Robert Harding Picture Library Ltd

Interior of the Great Mosque, Córdoba, Spain