Learn/ Educators/ Curriculum Resources/ Art of the Islamic World/ Unit Six: From the City to the Steppe—Art Beyond the Royal Court/ Chapter Two: Domestic Life in Eighteenth-Century Damascus/ Introduction

Introduction

The Damascus Room is an early eighteenth-century residential reception chamber (qa'a) from Damascus, a provincial capital of the Ottoman empire. (For more on the art of the Ottoman empire, see Art and Empire: The Ottoman Court.) The space provides a vivid impression of the domestic setting of an affluent Damascus household during this period. Historical sources and travelers' accounts from the period, as well as the various features of the room itself—such as the painted and gilded woodwork, extensive poetic inscriptions, and inlaid marble floors—shed light on its historical context, its use, and the symbolic significance of many of its decorative elements.


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