Between the Euphrates and the Tigris

The Jazira: A Cultural Landscape Between the Euphrates and the Tigris presents the art and culture of the petty princes of the region—the jazira, or “island”—in the 12th and 13th centuries. The medieval dynasties of the Zanjids, Artuqids and Ayyubids favored a courtly lifestyle that manifested itself in opulent libraries and artistic production, and featured extensive figurative representation in objects of art and architectural design. Artisans were encouraged to study the symbols of the illustrious past, including astrological symbols, and to re-use them for the glorification of their princely patrons. The exhibition’s 70 objects include masterpieces, never published or barely remembered, in their historical context; they exemplify one little-known but particularly interesting epoch in Islamic culture. Pergamonmuseum, Museum für Islamische Kunst, Berlin, through September 2.