Pair of Doors with Carved Decoration
second half of the 8th century
Made in Probably Iraq
100 3/8 x 48 7/16 in. (255 x 123 cm)
Benaki Museum, Athens (9121)
Not on view
Richly patterned like the stone carvings at the Umayyad palace at Mshatta, these doors are said to have been found near the Abbasid capital Baghdad in Iraq. With their distinctive mixture of naturalism, abstraction, and geometry, they epitomize the transitional style characteristic of the late Umayyad and early Abbasid periods. Taste for surface pattern and stylization spread widely at this time, appearing in monuments throughout the Islamic empire from Central Asia to North Africa, including the lost southern provinces of the Byzantine Empire.