Figurative Art
Animal Representation
‘Ivory jewellery boxes covered with carving that illustrated typical themes of court life and pleasure.’
Animals appeared more frequently in the art and architecture of the Umayyad period, especially in mosaics and frescoes, not just in palaces but also in the churches of local Christians. In the later period, ivory jewellery boxes of various shapes and sizes were made in Spain (AD late 10th–early 11th century) their surfaces covered with carvings that illustrated typical themes of pleasure and court life, including hunting scenes. The carved wooden panels of the Fatimid period in Egypt contain a number of animal themes. The facades of some buildings in Anatolia, and the towers of the Ayyubid–Mamluk periods in Egypt, were often decorated with naturalistic and heraldic-style animal motifs.
Tower of al-Zahir Baybars

Hegira 658–76 / AD 1260–77
Cairo, Egypt
A lion, the blazon of Sultan Baybars (r. 658–76 / 1260–77). The motif is repeated all around the façade of the tower that was built on his orders and named after him.