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Architects and Artists in Mamluk Society: The Perspective of the Sources

Nasser Rabbat
Journal of Architectural Education (1984-)
Vol. 52, No. 1 (Sep., 1998), pp. 30-37
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1425493
Page Count: 8
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Architects and Artists in Mamluk Society: The Perspective of the Sources
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Abstract

This article analyzes the social standing of artists and architects during the Mamluk period. It shows that the majority had a rather modest status. Those few who achieved social recognition had to transform themselves intellectually and socially to move beyond the confines of small-time artisanal limitations. They had to become something else, in addition to being artists and architects, before they could be acknowledged. This, however, is not a specifically Mamluk attitude. All medieval cultures shared it. Our modern expectations are retroactively and anachronistically inflated by the unprecedented phenomenon of Renaissance Italy, when architects and artists became the model humanists.

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