This survey in 14 essays of Fatimid art between the 10th and 12th centuries showcases the pottery, rock crystal, metalwork, textile, architectural, wood, and calligraphic creations of one of t he most artistically inventive periods in Islamic culture, with special attention paid to the art of Christian and Jewish communities under the Fatimids.
Between the 10th and 12th centuries CE, the Fatimid caliphate ruled parts of presentday Algeria, Tunis ia, Egypt, Sicily and Syria. Tracing their descent from the Prophet Muhammad ' s daughter, Fatima, the Fatimids reinvigorated Islamic art, producing splendid pottery, metalwork, rock crystal, wood, textile and calligraphic creations. This art showcased ingen ious techniques, superb decorative methods and lively motifs displaying an inventive dynamism in the use of human, animal, vegetal, and abstract forms. Architecture, too, became a hallmark of Fatimid grandeur, resulting in such magnificent structures as al - Azhar University in Cairo, the Fatimids ' capital.