The art of the Mamluks inspired both Europe and the Middle East.
The Mamluks ruled Egypt and Syria for three centuries until the Ottoman conquest of 1517. It is considered a glorious period when sultans commissioned lavish architectural projects, encouraged the production of fine artworks, and turned Cairo into a prosperous cosmopolitan centre. From the middle of the 19th century, this past was central to the artistic inspiration known as the Mamluk revival. The rediscovery of an indigenous legacy was used to establish a nationalistic “Arab style”, where the Mamluk repertoire was perceived as the classical vocabulary. As original artefacts were collected, craftsmen used techniques such as inlaid metalwork or enamelled glass to make modern interpretations, which they applied to traditional or European-inspired prototypes such as furniture.