The Pisa Griffin and the Mari-Cha Lion

Metalwork, Art and Technology in the Medieval Islamicate Mediterranean
Texts: part in Italian, part in English

Anna Contadini (edited by)


Informazioni tecniche

2018 • 24x28 cm • 544 pages • 300 pics • hardcover


The Pisa Griffin and the Mari-Cha Lion. Metalwork, Art, and Technology in the Medieval Islamicate Mediterranean is an interdisciplinary study focusing on two unique bronze sculptures produced between the late eleventh and the early twelfth century. Through scientific, historical and art historical analyses it investigates the many issues that surround them, including fundamental questions of location and period, purpose and patronage, their transcultural meanings, and their agency as the function of each has mutated.

By bringing related pieces into the discussion, this study seeks to change our understanding of medieval art and metal production in the Western Mediterranean and to highlight the significance of metalworking in Spain and South Italy. It shows how the relationship between these areas and the rest of the Mediterranean was marked by active exchanges of goods and artistic ideas during the period just prior to the development of the better-known Shirazi, Ayyubid and Mamluk inlaid metalwork.


Download the book’s index (274 kb)

Leggi la recensione Il Grifone di Pisa e il Leone di Doha a confronto, su La Nazione del 23 giugno 2019


Anna Contadini is Professor of the History of Islamic Art and Head of the School of Arts at SOAS, University of London. She is also the Director of the “Griffin and Lion Project”. She was a curator at the V&A Museum and the Chester Beatty Library, and Lecturer in Islamic Art at Trinity College, Dublin. Her areas of interest are Arabic and Persian illustrated manuscripts, material culture of the Islamic world, and the artistic and cultural connections between the Middle East and Europe, especially Italy.


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