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The Arts of Fire: Islamic Influences on Glass and Ceramics of the Italian Renaissance

  • Edited by Catherine Hess
    Contributions by George Saliba and Linda Komaroff

    Students and scholars of the Italian Renaissance easily fall under the spell of its achievements: its self-confident humanism, its groundbreaking scientific innovations, its ravishing artistic production. Yet many of the developments in Italian ceramics and glass were made possible by Italy's proximity to the Islamic world. The Arts of Fire underscores how central the Islamic influence was on this luxury art of the Italian Renaissance.

    Published to coincide with an exhibition that was held at the Getty Museum May 4 to September 5, 2004, The Arts of Fire demonstrates how many of the techniques of glass and ceramic production and ornamentation were first developed in the Islamic East between the eighth and twelfth centuries. These techniques enamel and gilding on glass and tin-glaze and luster on ceramics produced brilliant and colorful decoration that was a source of awe and admiration, transforming these crafts, for the first time, into works of art and true luxury commodities. Essays by Catherine Hess, George Saliba, and Linda Komaroff demonstrate early modern Europe's debts to the Islamic world and help us better understand the interrelationships of cultures over time.

    Catherine Hess is the former associate curator of sculpture at the Getty Museum. George Saliba is professor of Arabic and Islamic science at Columbia University. Linda Komaroff is curator of Islamic art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

    184 pages
    8 x 10 inches
    70 color illustrations, 1 map
    ISBN 978-0-89236-757-3

    Getty Publications
    Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum