Skip to content

Main Elements Of Islamic Art

The term “Islamic art” is a general word that refers to visual arts post-7th century, made by Muslim and non-Muslim artists in the areas occupied by the people and the cultures of Islam. It includes different art forms, including architecture and ornamentation of the architecture as well as pottery art, mosaics relief sculpture, lustre-ware, ivory and wood carving friezes, drawing calligraphy, painting and book-gilding, illuminated manuscripts, lacquer-painted bookbinding textile design, jewelry, goldsmithery, stone carving, and many more. It is a long-standing tradition. Islamic art was derived from a variety of sources. It incorporates elements of Greek as well as early Christian art, which is merged with the most important Middle Eastern cultures of Egypt, Byzantium, and ancient Persia as well as the Far Eastern cultures from India as well as China.

Principal elements of Islamic Art

Islamic Art is not the art of a specific region or even a specific group of population. It is the work of a civilization that was created by a series of historical conditions and the conquer of the Ancient World by the Arabs as well as the forceful union of a large area with the help of Islam the Islamic Republic, which was later conquered by different ethnic groups. Since the beginning the direction taken by Islamic Art was largely determined by political structures that crossed sociological and geographical boundaries.

The complexity is the hallmark of Islamic Art developed on the base of Pre-Islamic practices in the many nations conquered, as well as an intricately integrated blend Arab, Turkish and Persian traditions that were merged in every part of the modern Islamic/Moslem Empire.

Turkish Influence

The Turkish element of Islamic Art consists mainly of an original idea of abstraction which was the Turkish inhabitants from Central Asia applied to any art and culture they encountered on the long voyage from ‘Innermostasia from ‘Innermost Asia’ to Egypt. They brought a rich tradition of both figurative and non-figurative designs that spanned from Eastern into Western Asia, creating an distinct Turkish iconography. The significance of the Turkish aspect in Islamic culture is perhaps be understood best when one considers that the greater portion of Islamic World was controlled by Turkish people from the 10th century to in the 18th century. In the end, the Art of the Islamic World is a large part due to the rule of the Turkish Dynasties. The influence of Turkish ideas, tastes and culture upon and in the Art of Islam in general cannot be undervalued.

Persian Influence

The Persian component of Islamic Art is perhaps most difficult to define. It is believed to comprise the peculiarly poetical, lyrical approach that is a metaphysical inclination that within the realm of religious and emotional experience can lead to an astonishing blooming of mysticism. The main styles of Muslim painting emerged in Iran in the context on Persian literature. Not just an entire iconography but also a distinct abstract, abstract-poetical development, was developed in Iran during the latter half of the 14th and 15th centuries and is unrivalled anywhere else in the Islamic/Moslem World. The same kind of attitude that results in the realm that of art a of the most exquisite beauty, but also of absolute fantasy and unreality, also enters into architecture, resulting in designs that appear to ignore the basic nature of architecture as well as the fundamental notions of weight and stress of supporting and relief, and blending all the elements into a single fusion of unrealistic fantasy and a floating realm of fantasy.

Although these three components of Islamic culture can be at times clearly distinct and distinct, and each contributes equally to the evolution of Islamic Art however, at the vast majority of instances they are so connected and interspersed that it is often difficult to differentiate between the three. Each region in the Muslim World share a great number of fundamental features in art that bring the entire area into the form of a super-national, super ethnic and super-geographic unity that can be evident in the development of human civilization only through similar dominance over Rome. Ancient World through Rome.

The influence of Religion of Islam on Islamic Art

Of all the elements of Islamic Art the most important certainly is religion. The numerous small kingdoms and empires that have embraced Islam believed – despite of jealousies and prides of race the fact that they were primarily Muslim rather than Arab, Turkish or Persian. They all spoke and wrote Arabic that is one of the languages used by the Koran (Qur’an). They all gathered inside the Mosque the sacred building which was, with minor modifications it was identical design across the Muslim World and all viewed Mecca as the central point of Islam represented through The Kaaba (Quabba), an early Muslim sanctuary that was adopted in the time of Muhammad as the place to where every Muslim must turn during prayer. Every prayer hall was a central or Kibla wall, which was facing Mecca with an important niche called the Mihrab. All Muslims believed in the same fundamental principle in the message of Muhammad, recognition of the all-encompassing supremacy and power of the All-Powerful God (Allah). The the creed of all Muslims has the same meaning “There there is none except God (Allah) as well as Muhammad is his prophet.” All Muslims from every race and nationality, they share the same sense of being equal before the eyes of Allah when it comes time for judgment.

The Infinite Pattern of Islamic Art

The concept of the infinity on one hand and the impossibility of the human existence on the other hand, is widely known to everyone Muslims and forms a major part of the totality of Muslim Art. It has many different, but fundamentally similar expressions. The most fundamental of these is the creation of an infinite pattern, which appears in its fully developed form from the beginning and is an essential component that is a major part of Islamic Art in all periods. The endless continuation of a pattern, no matter if it is abstract, semi-abstract or partially figurative, is on one hand an manifestation of a deep faith in the eternality of the true self and , on the other hand, an indifference to the temporary nature of existence. By making visible only a small portion of a pattern which exists in its entirety only in the infinite the Islam Artist related the static limitless, seemingly definite object to the infinite.

See here for more Islamic Art

A Arabesque design, which is based on the infinite pattern of a leaf-scroll that through splitting elements (stem leaves, stem, and blossom) creates new variations of the same basic elements. is an ideal application of the principles of Islam design. It is able to apply to any surface, such as the covers of a small, metal box, or the curvature of a motherumental dome. Both the small metal box and the massive dome of the Mosque are seen similarly and differ only in shape but not in their quality. In this way, you can give equal importance to everything that exists , or to bring all things to one level of existence every aspect of art and design, the basis for a common design is created that goes beyond the boundaries of time or nationality.

The ornamentation of surfaces dissolves matter

One of the fundamental aspects in the Islamic style that is derived from the same premise was the dissolution or dissolution of material. The concept of transformation consequently, is of paramount importance. The embellishment of surfaces of every type in any medium using the infinite pattern has the same purpose , namely to obscure and dissolve the subject matter, whether it’s a miniature structure or a small gold container. The result is a reality that isn’t an actual reflection of the object, but instead the superimposed component that is able to transcend the temporary and individual appearance of the work of art and bringing it into a higher and more definite universe of endless and constant being.

This notion is highlighted through the manner that architectural decorations are utilized. Walls that are solid are hidden with tile and plaster Arches and vaults are covered in epigraphic and floral ornaments that break down their solidity and strength. The domes are adorned by radiating designs in infinity patterns, burst suns or amazing floating canapes of many mukkarnas. They eliminate the solidity of stone or masonary and give them an unique ephemeral look as if creation of crystals is the sole possibility.

It could be that in this particular aspect that has no real connection to the past of art it is it is that Islamic Art joins in the religion of Islam and in this way that it is a religion-based art. In particular, there is a lack of actual religious iconography in the traditional sense is found in Islam.

Though a variety of basic designs and concepts were more or less steady and constant across the whole of Islamic Art – especially in architecture, the diversity of individual designs is astounding and, in turn, extraordinary. Nearly every country in each time created styles of art with no analogy to another. And the variations of a common theme, which are carried across time from one period to the next, are more amazing.

Islamic Decoration

Two essential elements in Islamic ornamental art include Calligraphy and floral patterns.

Floral Designs Islamic Decoration

Islamic artists often used flowers and trees for decorative designs for embellishing items, cloths like personal belongings and even structures. Their designs were influenced by both international and local styles. For example, Mughal architectural decoration was in the style of European botanical artists and also by classical Persian and Indian flowers. An extremely ornate as complex art form, floral designs were frequently employed as the basis of “infinite patterns” style decoration, employing arabesques (geometricized vegetal patterns) that covered an entire surface. The endless rhythms created by the repeated lines of curving produce a soothing calm effect that can be altered and enhanced through variations in lines, colours and textures. Sometimes, the intricate would be highlighted and floral designs could be added to panels or tablets of white marble as rows of flowers finely carved in low relief, with the inlays of various colours made of valuable stones.

Caligraphy used in Islamic Decoration

Alongside the naturalistic abstract, semi-naturalistic and naturalistic geometrical patterns that are used in the infinite patterns, Arabic calligraphy played a prominent part throughout Islamic Art and was integrated into almost every kind of artistic scheme, not least because it serves as a bridge between the language spoken by Muslims as well as the faith of Islam which is outlined within the Koran and Qur’an. Proverbs and the complete text of the Qur’an remain the primary resources to Islamic calligraphic art and decorations.

In other words, the majority of Islamic structures display some kind of inscription on their stucco, stone mosaic or marble surfaces. The inscriptions are usually but not always an inscription in the Quran. or single words such as “Allah” as well as “Mohammed” may be repeated several times across the entire area of walls. Calligraphic inscriptions are often associated with the geometrical shape of the building . They often serve as a frame around the primary architectural elements, such as cornices and doors. Sometimes, a religious text is restricted to a small area or tablet carved (cartouche) that could be broken, creating the appearance of a particular design of lighting.

Calligraphic scripts

There are two major scripts used in the traditional Islamic Calligraphy, the angular Kufic and the Naskhi cursive script.

Kufic is the first form, believed to have been developed in Kufa in the south of Baghdad emphasizes the vertical strokes of characters. It was extensively used during the early five hundred years of Islam in architecture, replicas of the Koran (Qur’an) and pottery and textiles. There are eight distinct kinds of Kufic script. Of these, only three are listed in this article: (a) simple Kufic; (b) foliated Kufic that appeared in Egypt in the 9th century BCE and features vertical strokes that end in half-palmettes or lobed leaves; (c) floriated Kufic with floral motiffs and scrolls are included in the half-palmettes and leaves. It is believed that this script may be a type that was developed in Egypt in the period of the 9th Century BCE and reached it’s greatest development in Egypt under the Fatimids (969-1171).

In the eleventh century and onwards from the 11th century onwards, the Naskhi script gradually took over Kufic. While a cursive style was known by the end of the 7th Century BCE, the invention of Naskhi was attributed to Ibn Muqula. Ibn Muqula lived in Baghdad in the 10th century, and was also the one responsible for the creation of a different type of cursive writing, the thuluth or the thulth. It is similar to Naskhi however certain elements like vertical strokes and horizontal lines are exaggerated.

In Iran various styles of cursive writing were developed and invented, including taliq was a major one. In the course of taliq came nastaliq which is a more attractive elegant and elegant type of writing. Its creator is Mir Ali Tabrizi, who was active during the second part in the fourteenth century. Nastaliq became the dominant form in Persian Calligraphy during the 15th and 16th centuries.

Another crucial feature that is significant to Islamic Art, generally completely unnoticed is its rich iconographic and pictorial heritage. The notion of Islam was an iconaclastic , anti-image culture and that depictions of human beings , or living creatures was forbidden, remains in place, even though it is true that the presence of figuative paintings in Iran is recognized for more than half a century. There isn’t any prohibition against painting pictures or depictions of living things within Islam and there isn’t any mention of this within the Koran (Qur’an).

Certain statements that are which are believed to be the work of the Prophet, and contained within the Hadith (the collection of the traditional statements of the Prophet) may have been read as an injunction against artistic endeavor even though they have pure spiritual significance. Whatever the motivation it is a fact that at no time of Islamic culture was figurative representation and painting repressed in any way, with the sole exception of the religious realm where idolatry was shunned. Mosques and mausoleums were therefore not able to display figuratively. Additionally, imagery is one of the main elements, and many other traditions of painting were integrated into the long and complicated development of Islamic Art.

It is reasonable to conclude that some experts of Islamic art tend to have a more narrow perspective. In this opinion that creating living beings such as animals and humans is considered to be the work of God, Islam rightly discourages Islamic artists and sculptors from making the kind of images. Although some art figurative can be found within this Islamic world, it’s typically restricted to ornamentation of objects and secular structures and the creation of miniature artworks.