Striving for the Infinite? The Moresque at the Time of Francis I and Henry VIII

Bextermoller, Astrid (2000) Striving for the Infinite? The Moresque at the Time of Francis I and Henry VIII. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The Tales of the Alhambra by Washington Irving still capture the contemporary imagination. The arabesque with its cumulative rhythmic effect and the total coverage of the decorative field is a dominant feature of ornament in the Alhambra in Granada. As 'moresque' the stylized interlaced foliage pattern becomes part of European ornament up to the level of complete absorption. The introductory essay searches for the origins and the development of the arabesque and follows some major routes into the canon of European ornament. Also, some differences in meaning and function of Islamic and European ornament are explored. The court of Francis I and Henry VIII as important Renaissance artistic centres are taken as examples to show the dissemination of the moresque across Europe. The fourteen exhibits illatrate the application and the appropriation of the arabesque in various media and for various purposes. The journey starts in the Alhambra, follows Diego de caias to France and England, goes from Damascus to Venice with damascened vessels on board. There the 'pockets' are filled with (pattern) books bound in morocco leather and the way of Tagliente and Pellegrin to France is reiterated. Finally, the patterns are traced at the court of Henry VIII. The exhibits show that besides fulfilling a particular function and having a certain meaning ornament is endowed with the property of carrying beauty and providing pleasure.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: Frances Thomas
Keywords: Art history
Date of Award: 2000
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2000-76076
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 16:51
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 16:51
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/76076

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