In the period from 1000 – 1400, Jerusalem was as famous as a destination as it was a symbol of faith for people from around the world. As the home of three Abrahamic faiths—Christianity, Islam and Judaism—the Holy City offered a vibrant experience for anyone who visited. Home to a bustling mix of locals, immigrants, and tourists from lands as distant as India, Ethiopia, Europe, Turkey, Greece, or Syria, the narrow streets of the city were alive with energy. People of diverse cultural, ethnic, linguistic and ideological backgrounds came together to form a complex cultural melting pot of exchange. This extraordinary flourishing of culture and art took place in a city not much larger than Midtown Manhattan.
Inspired by the exhibition, Jerusalem 1000 – 1400: Every People Under Heaven, The Met Store has created a mini medieval bazaar so that visitors may take home a reminder of this moment in history. A tactile interpretation of the religious, artistic, and cultural exchanges taking place in Jerusalem during this period, the offering takes cues from objects in The Met collection created during the period. Below, we highlight a few of our favorite pieces. Shop the full assortment online by clicking here.
Foliate or vegetal patterns seen in Islamic art originally derived from Byzantine artistic traditions, which by the medieval period, Islamic artists had developed into a style fully their own now widely known as “arabesque” (a term coined in nineteenth-century Europe). These graphic interpretations of nature are sometimes though to symbolize paradise, but due to lack of written record, scholars often disagree on the subject.
Derived from a thirteenth- to fourteenth-century Islamic textile fragment, the graphic leaf-like pattern was created through a process of block printing and resist dying on very fine cotton believed to be of Indian or Egyptian origin. Our modern interpretation, created by The Met Store’s design team specially for this exhibition, features the original pattern rendered in a soft silk twill perfect for Fall.
Our print was reproduced from the earliest illustrated printed book that recounts a Christian pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Written by German cleric and nobleman Bernhard von Breydenbach, who set out for Jerusalem in 1483, the book was illustrated by Erhard Reuwich, an artist who accompanied von Breydenbach on his journey. Published using the brand-new technology of printing, the book was an enormous success. Available in six languages by 1500, Reuwich’s image of Jerusalem established a standard for European artists who sought to capture its distinctive topography. This stunning framed print is taken from a five-page foldout in the book that shows Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock at its center.
Based on a medieval bowl in The Met collection, made in Syria in the late twelfth to early thirteenth century. It represents a technical innovation that coincided with the Syrian adoption of stonepaste; to create the design, the ceramicist painted directly on the white stonepaste body with three pigments—chromium black, cobalt blue, and red bole—over which he applied a transparent alkali glaze. The interior design consists of a band of pseudo inscriptions around the rim, surrounding a framework of radial panels with alternating designs. Recent analysis suggests the main production center for this ware was Damascus. Our reproduction is handmade exclusively for The Met in the workshop of Arturo Mora Benavent, an award-winning, fourth-generation ceramicist in Valencia, Spain.
Looking to learn more about this stunning exhibition? Created by curators Barbara Boehm and Melanie Holcomb, this stunning book features 354 color illustrations, highlighting nearly 200 works of art from the period through insightful essays discussing the meaning of this sacred land to various faiths, and its unique position which allowed for cultural, artistic, and religious exchange among diverse peoples from around the globe.