Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Another twentieth century flashback

Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
Watercolour and ink
©1997 Charlene Brown

Unlike my other ‘twentieth century flashback’ paintings, this shows a location I’ve never actually visited. It is part of an ‘alphabet of art’ I did for the Khaleej Times youth magazine, and it represents the letter ‘U’ – can you guess why? 
Here’s part of the text that accompanied the painting.
U is for Umayyad architecture. The Umayyads were the earliest dynasty of Islam. Their first major monument of Islamic architecture was the spectacular Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. It is, according to Muslim tradition, the place from which the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) ascended into heaven.
The Umayyads also built the Great Mosque in Damascus and many beautiful palaces throughout their empire, which extended from central India to the Atlantic. Traces of about fifty of these, with their mosques and majlis, have been found, mainly in Jordan.
In 750 AD, the Ummayyads were driven out of Damascus, but escaped to Spain, where they built hundreds of mosques of which the most important was the spectacular Grand Mosque of Cordoba.