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Exhibitions/ Power and Piety: Islamic Talismans on the Battlefield

Power and Piety: Islamic Talismans on the Battlefield

At The Met Fifth Avenue
August 29, 2016–February 13, 2017

Exhibition Overview

Inscriptions and images on Islamic arms and armor were believed to provide their wearers with safety and success in combat. This exhibition, featuring some 30 works from The Met collection, examines the role of text and image in the construction and function of arms and armor in the Islamic world. Qur'anic verses; prayers that invoke Allah, the Asma al-Husna (Ninety-nine Beautiful Names of Allah), as well as the Prophet Muhammad, his family, and companions; and mystical symbols were all used to imbue military apparel, weapons, and paraphernalia with protective powers.


Digital Catalogue

Detail view of talismanic symbols on an 18th-century Islamic standard

Learn more about the role of talismans in the construction, function, and decoration of arms and armor throughout the Islamic world in a digital publication presented in conjunction with this unprecedented exhibition.

The exhibition is made possible by The Hagop Kevorkian Fund.

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in

Exhibition Objects

Helmet (detail), 18th century. Deccan, Indian. Steel, gold, copper alloy. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of George C. Stone, 1935 (36.25.63a)