28 Facts About Islamic art


Islamic art is a part of Islamic culture and encompasses the visual arts produced since the 7th century CE by people who lived within territories inhabited or ruled by Muslim populations.

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Public Islamic art is traditionally non-representational, except for the widespread use of plant forms, usually in varieties of the spiralling arabesque.

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Early developments of Islamic art were influenced by Roman art, Early Christian art, and Sassanian art, with later influences from Central Asian nomadic traditions.

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From its beginnings, Islamic art has been based on the written version of the Quran and other seminal religious works, which is reflected by the important role of calligraphy, representing the word as the medium of divine revelation.

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Religious Islamic art has been typically characterized by the absence of figures and extensive use of calligraphic, geometric and abstract floral patterns.

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Since the mid-20th Century following the departure of the Dutch colonialists, several Indonesian painters combined Abstract Expressionism with geometric forms, Indonesian symbols and Islamic calligraphy, creating religiously influenced Abstract Art.

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ApIslamic art from the products of city workshops, in touch with trading networks that might carry the carpets to markets far away, there was a large and widespread village and nomadic industry producing work that stayed closer to traditional local designs.

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Early Islamic art columns followed the style seen in the classic period of the Mediterranean.

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However, in ancient India, Islamic art arches take shape after being pointed, lobed, or ogee.

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Islamic art has very notable achievements in ceramics, both in pottery and tiles for walls, which in the absence of wall-paintings were taken to heights unmatched by other cultures.

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Islamic art pottery was often influenced by Chinese ceramics, whose achievements were greatly admired and emulated.

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Until the Early Modern period Western ceramics had very little influence, but Islamic art pottery was very sought after in Europe, and often copied.

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Medieval Islamic art world had pottery with painted animal and human imagery.

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The very massive Hedwig glasses, only found in Europe, but normally considered Islamic art, are an example of this, though puzzlingly late in date.

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Medieval Islamic art metalwork offers a complete contrast to its European equivalent, which is dominated by modelled figures and brightly coloured decoration in enamel, some pieces entirely in precious metals.

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Islamic art metalwork includes some three-dimensional animal figures, such as fountainheads or aquamaniles, but only one significant enamelled object of Byzantine cloisonne technique is known.

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Apart from miniature painting and calligraphy, other arts of the book are decorative illumination, the only type found in Qur'an manuscripts, and Islamic book covers, which are often highly decorative in luxury manuscripts, using either the geometric motifs found in illumination, or sometimes figurative images probably drawn for the craftsmen by miniature painters.

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Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is one of the most important buildings in all of Islamic art architecture, marked by a strong Byzantine influence, but already bearing purely Islamic art elements, such as the great epigraphic frieze.

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Islamic art calligraphy began to be used in surface decoration on pottery during this period.

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In metalwork, large sculptures in the round, normally rather scarce in the Islamic art world, served as elaborate receptacles for water or as fountain spouts.

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Iran and the north of India, the Tahirids, Samanids, Ghaznavids, and Ghurids struggled for power in the 10th century, and Islamic art was a vital element of this competition.

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Meanwhile, growth in mass market production and sale of Islamic art made it more commonplace and accessible to merchants and professionals.

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The Islamic art of the Persian book was born under this dynasty, and was encouraged by aristocratic patronage of large manuscripts such as the Jami' al-tawarikh by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani.

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Islamic art book painting witnessed its first golden age in the thirteenth century, mostly from Syria and Iraq.

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Hillenbrand suggests that the medieval Islamic art texts called Maqamat, copied and illustrated by Yahya ibn Mahmud al-Wasiti were some of the earliest "coffee table books".

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Islamic art was a member of the Ottoman administrative elite who trained in Paris, and painted throughout his long career as a senior administrator and curator in Turkey.

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From at least the 18th century onwards, elite Islamic art was increasingly influenced by European styles, and in the applied arts either largely adopted Western styles, or ceased to develop, retaining whatever style was prevalent at some point in the late 18th or early 19th centuries.

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Islamic countries have developed modern and contemporary art, with very vigorous art worlds in some countries, but the degree to which these should be grouped in a special category as "Islamic art" is questionable, although many artists deal with Islam-related themes, and use traditional elements such as calligraphy.

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