Moorish culture blossomed in south Iberia from the 8th century to the 15th century when Moors seized most of the Iberian Peninsula and established Muslim rule in the region.
The Moors themselves mostly comprised of North African Berbers as well as Arabs from Damascus. Once in Iberia, they also accepted influences from the local cultures.
This resulted in a unique mix of Iberian, North African, and Arab Islamic cultures, giving birth to rich Moorish art and culture.
Among the most notable examples of Moorish art are the extant Moorish buildings in the Iberian region.
Moorish architecture was a blend of Arab, North Africa, Visigoth, and often Frankish styles of construction.
Being at the confluence of multiple cultures and religions, the Moors took influences from various sources and used them in their buildings.
Early Moorish architecture is predominantly Islamic and Arab in its outlook with significant influences from the Iberian culture.
Notable example of the period is the Great Mosque of Cordoba which uses a large number of rounded arches on the interior and is embellished with numerous decorative elements.
From the 11th century onwards, Moorish architecture was more strongly influenced by the North African culture.
A notable example of Moorish architecture of this period is the mosque of Seville, known for its iconic minarets. One of the most glorious examples of extant Moorish architecture is the Alhambra palace in Granada.
Sculptures were one of the most prominent forms of Moorish art that was widely practiced during the Moorish period in Iberia.
Stone and wood were intricately carved to produce sculptured models which were then used on materials ranging from stone slabs to interiors of buildings. Court scenes were sculpted on ivory boxes which were frequently used by the Moorish nobility.
Throughout most of the medieval ages, the Moorish culture in Iberia was known for its finesse and the high quality of its products.
For this reason, Moorish arts and crafts were in high demand throughout most of Europe as well as other parts of the neighbouring Iberian Peninsula.
Notable types of Moorish crafts included hand-woven and fine cloths and rugs which were frequently embellished with colours and paintings.
Enamelled jewelry was also produced in the Moorish territories, to be used by the nobility as well as for export to other regions.
Pottery was another high-quality Moorish handicraft product that was known for its artistic outlook and the durability of its material.
Even after the Moorish rule had ended in Iberia, Moorish art continued to exert its influence on the development of art in Spain as well as the European Renaissance at large.
Moorish art helped revive European interest in the Greek and Roman cultural legacy while also bringing the intellectual treasures of the Muslim world to Europe.
As a result, artworks directly influenced by the Moorish legacy continued to be produced in Spain in particular and in Europe in general.
A specific form of art called Mudejar art blossomed during the post-Moorish period. This form of art was made by non-Moors but closely followed the Moorish artistic legacy.