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Unit Seven: Trade and Artistic Exchange

Elephant-shaped drinking vessel (kendi  ),

Elephant-shaped drinking vessel (kendi  ), second quarter of the 17th century. Iran, probably Kirman

The role of trade, diplomacy, and cultural interconnections is crucial to understanding works of art produced in the Islamic world. The fluid movement of artists and luxury objects among eastern and western Asia and Europe led to the cross-fertilization of motifs, designs, materials, and production techniques. The existence of a network of trading posts and routes throughout this vast geographic region facilitated long-distance communication, the transmission of ideas, and the emergence of a global culture. The chapters in this unit highlight artistic relationships between China and the Near East and those between Venice and the Islamic world.

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After reading this chapter, you will be able to identify how trade and cultural ties led to artistic exchange between China and the Near East from the tenth to the seventeenth century; and recognize visual evidence of these exchanges in ceramic works of art.

Subject Areas: Visual Arts; World History

After reading this chapter, you will be able to identify how factors such as trade and diplomacy led to artistic exchange between Venice and the Islamic world during the thirteenth through the sixteenth centuries; and recognize visual evidence of exchange in works of art.

Subject Areas: Visual Arts; World History

Unit Seven Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan: Ceramics in China
and the Near East

Students will be able to identify ways works of art reflect exchange between Chinese and Near Eastern civilizations; recognize ways animals act as symbols in various cultures; and create a tile that highlights the qualities and traits commonly associated with an animal.

Lesson Plan: Venice and the
Islamic World

Students will be able to recognize evidence of artistic exchange and mutual influence between Venice and the Islamic world in works of art and use informational texts as a resource to substantiate inferences.

Tile with image of a phoenix

The lesson plan related to Ceramics in China and the Near East features a late thirteenth-century tile with the image of a phoenix.

Velvet fragment

The lesson plan related to Venice and the Islamic World features a sixteenth-century velvet fragment from Turkey.