Islamic Art History: An Influential Period

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Following the Roman and Byzantine art periods emerged a new movement, the Islamic Art period. This era represents creation of art in regions where Islamic influence existed, thus calling it Islamic art is not a term that represents a certain religion.


Islamic Art has been arguably a result of the combination of the Byzantine, Roman, Sassanian and Coptic Art which gave it individuality over its predecessors since it combined multiple mediums, artistic designs and characteristics; from architecture to calligraphy and geometric, this art movement holds a large variety that is sure to fit any taste.
This movement relatively commenced in the beginning of the 7th century (A.D 630) when Arab legions traveled across the Middle East, North Africa, Persia and South of Europe.

Formation And Style

A distinguishable factor for this particular art is the fact that all designs are crafted in an abstract way as to abstain from using portraits of certain characters. The reason being for the use of abstract non-representational designs in Islamic art is the traditional theological and cultural taboo against creating a portrait of God or any living form as to free the mind from any projections. This style of artistry was presumably created to spread the true message of Islam that goes beyond everything material and worldly.
The work of art is reflected most towards depicting the inner belief to show the inter-connection between God and his subjects in the form of art. This was translated into mosaic art, architecture, geometric shapes and even music and dance.

It is believed that artists were more inclined to use the geometrical shapes especially when designing mosques and places of worship. This was done to keep the attention on the spiritual and to also evoke meditation into a non-worldly awareness. These repetitive shapes that recur while portraying floral or vegetal designs are called arabesque designs.

Influence Of Islamic Art Today

The Islamic Art as renowned evolved in the 7th century and has spun throughout a period of 1,300 years and has reached a large and very diverse geographical territory from east Asia to south of Europe. Many famous monuments that stood the test of time are the evidence on the beauty of the architecture, mosaic and abstract representations using geographical designs

Islamic Architecture in Taj Mahal, India

The construction of the Taj Mahal was possible thanks to the efforts of national artisans and also international ones from central Asia and Iran which can be translated in the unique style of architecture. The breathtaking structure took 22 years to build and it is truly a top in the list of Islamic architecture gems.

Islamic Calligraphy in The Great Mosque of Xian, China

Nothing is more beautiful than the fusion between two cultures and the mosque of Xian in china is a true representation of that. The Islamic architectural art is present abundantly in the entrance and throughout the prayer hall with beautiful floral motifs and handcrafted Chinese calligraphy in Arabic letters representing verses from the Quran.

Islamic patterns in the Dome of Rock, Palestine

The mosaics in the famous Dome of Rock in Jerusalem were patterned similarly to churches and palaces nearby as to keep a sense of conformity. Many buildings were influenced by the architecture from churches to mosques such as the famous mausoleum of Sultan Suleiman present in Istanbul Turkey.

Islamic Mosaic Art in the Friday mosque herat, Afghanistan

A beautiful Islamic-Moroccan art is reflected in the design of this mosque, from the beautiful zelige mosaics to the architectural formation making the mosque of Herat a true gem.

Islamic Arabesque Art in Alhambra, Spain

The beautiful palace of Alhambra is decorated with ornamental geometrical patterns representing a floral and vegetal arabesque pattern. Those can be seen extensively on the ceiling, walls and flooring turning the palace into a lovely piece of art that is sure to capture your attention every second. Some argue that the Gothic art movement was affected by the style of these buildings.

Have you visited any of these wonderful places? Which one was your favorite? We would love to know!

Which influential art period would you like us to cover next? Let us know in the comment section below.

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