Join Professor Anna Contadini  as she takes us on an evocative journey to discover the fascination and curiosity that Islamic art and intellectual thought inspired among pre-modern European thinkers and scholars, and how that fascination—led by wonder and awe—resulted in the creation of some of the most beautiful cultural dialogues in the history of mankind.


Anna Contadini is currently professor of Islamic art at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. She was previously Baring Foundation Research Fellow in Islamic Studies at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, where she conducted research on a range of objects drawn from the splendid Islamic collection of the museum, concentrating on the Fatimid period. From 1994-7 she was Lecturer in Islamic Art at Trinity College Dublin, and Curator of the Islamic Collections of the Chester Beatty Library.

Her publications include The Renaissance and the Ottoman World, A World of Beasts: A Thirteenth-Century Illustrated Arabic Book on Animals in the Ibn Bakhtishu Tradition and Fatimid Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum. 

Above: The Pisa Griffin, probably made in Muslim Spain in the 11th century was taken to Pisa and placed atop the Cathedral. It is just one example of the place that the culture and intellect  of the Islamic world held in Western Europe for centuries. Image: JoanBanjo Wikimedia Commons.