A Tale of Two Minbars: Woodwork in Egypt and Syria on the Eve of the Ayyubids

Bernard O’Kane
Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture, American University in Cairo

The minbars of the Jami’ al-‘Amri at Qus (550/1155-6) and the Jami’ Nuri at
Hama (559/1163-4) were built within a decade of each other. The first is in Egypt, the
product of a Fatimid patron, the second in Syria, commissioned by a Zangid patron. Each deserves a closer look, not only for their intrinsic artistic qualities, which are even more impressive than they have been given credit for, but also for what they reveal of trends in ornamentation at the time.

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