Universiteit Leiden

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Lecture | Studium Generale

The Splendour of Timurid Art and Architecture (1370-1506)

Tuesday 18 October 2016
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

The founder of the Timurid dynasty, Timur (born ca. 1336-1405), known widely in the west as Tamerlane, created a mighty empire that stretched from Anatolia to Delhi. Timur combined nomadic military campaigns with a sedentary cultural production. By bringing craftsmen from different conquered lands to his capital Samarqand, a major trading hub along the Silk Road, Timur created a vibrant artistic community. Timur is also one of a very few mortals to give his name to an acclaimed architectural style. Timurid architecture is widely praised as one of the most innovative and exquisite achievements of the Islamic civilization. Timur and his descendants created a complex aesthetic vocabulary based on their shared Turko-Mongol heritage. Yet this vocabulary was constantly enriched through a dynamic cultural exchange between China, Central Asia and the Middle East. How was cultural production in the Timurid period the result of a dynastic expression and how did these sophisticated artistic achievements unfold?

Dr. Elena Paskaleva, university lecturer in Critical Heritage Studies, Leiden University

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