Islamic mosaic art

The Dome of the Rock c.

islamic mosaic art

Influenced chiefly by Arab, Persian and Turkish traditions, Islamic visual arts have always played an important role in Muslim society and are significantly influenced by the religion of Islam. These intricate mosaic patterns are known as Girih, and can be seen in Muslim cultures around the world.

Brief Definition and Meaning. The phrase "Islamic art" is an umbrella term for post-7th century visual arts, created by Muslim and non-Muslim artists within the territories occupied by the people and cultures of Islam. It embraces art forms such as architecture, architectural decoration, ceramic art, faience mosaics, lustre-ware, relief sculpture, wood and ivory carving, friezes, drawing, painting, calligraphy, book-gilding, manuscript illumination, lacquer-painted bookbinding, textile design, metalworking, goldsmithery, gemstone carving, among others.

Historically, Islamic art has developed from a wide variety of different sources. It includes elements from Greek and early Christian art which it combines with the great Middle Eastern cultures of Egypt, Byzantium, and ancient Persia, along with far eastern cultures of India and China.

Main Elements Of Islamic Art. Islamic Art is not the art of a particular country or a particular people. It is the art of a civilization formed by a combination of historical circumstances; the conquest of the Ancient World by the Arabs, the inforced unification of a vast territory under the banner of Islama territory which was in turn invaded by various groups of alien peoples.

From the start, the direction of Islamic Art was largely determined by political structures which cut across geographical and sociological boundaries. The Arab element is probably at all times the most important. It contributed the basis for the development of Islamic Art with the message of Islam, the language of its Holy Bookthe Koran Qur'an and the Arabic form of writing.

This last became the most important single feature of all Islamic Art leading to the development of an infinite variety of abstract ornament and an entire system of linear abstraction that is peculiar to all forms of Islamic Art and can, in all it's manifastations, in one way or another be traced back to Arabic orgins.

The Arabs 2face love songs deeply interested in mathematics and astronomy and furthering the knowledge they had inherited from the Romans. They applied this knowledge of geometric principles and an innate sense of rhythm which also characterizes their poetry and music to the formulation of the complex repeat patterns seen in all Islamic decoration.

For more details, see: History of Art. Questions About History of Art Movements, periods, styles. The Turkish element in Islamic Art consists mainly of an indigenous concept of abstraction that the Turkish peoples of Central Asia applied to any culture and art form that they met with on their long journey from 'Innermost Asia' to Egypt.According to the Muslim faith, representational art that depicts the human form is disrespectful to God, as he created humanity in his image, and depictions of that image are sacrilegious.

This gave birth to one of the oldest artistic traditions in the world -- the practice of mosaic art where pictures are geometric and abstract, rather than representational. An important feature of Islamic mosaics is their incorporation into forms outside of purely artistic mediums such as paintings. Mosaics adorn both religious and secular buildings, but also appear in glassware such as dishes and bowls. Archaeologists have uncovered ancient mosaic glassware dating back to the Abbasid dynasty, which lasted from A.

Islam's focus on the spiritual nature of reality over its physical appearance influenced the early adoption of mosaic art, and Muslims believe the creation of such works brings the artist closer to God, according to the BBC. The Islamic faith encourages artists to make these mosaic works as beautiful as possible, as the faith preaches that beauty reflects the divine nature of God.

For this reason, the creation of mosaics is an expression of faith. Because Islamic mosaic art is an expression of faith, many shapes and patterns have symbolic significance. For example, the repetition within many of the designs evokes the nature of God, with a small section of work mirroring the pattern of the whole piece.

In the same way, a small part of God's creation on Earth reflects his divine and infinite nature. Muslim artists believe that by looking at these patterns, individuals can better understand God and the world in which they live. The complex geometric patterns of Islamic mosaics also had an impact on the field of mathematics. The artists had to create complex blueprints to shape large installations of thousands of different segments where each shape needed to be perfect and conform to exact measurements.

According to Islamic Art and Architecture, some of these intricate patterns -- called "girih" -- that date back to medieval times reflect geometric knowledge not understood by mathematicians in the West until the s.

The Exciting Art Of Islamic Mosaics

James Stuart began his professional writing career in He traveled through Asia, Europe, and North America, and has recently returned from Japan, where he worked as a freelance editor for several English language publications.

He looks forward to using his travel experience in his writing. The database based on Word Net is a lexical database for the English Language. See disclaimer. Designers often integrated Islamic mosaics into buildings and other structures. About the Author. Photo Credits.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. This movement relatively commenced in the beginning of the 7th century A.

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. These repetitive shapes that recur while portraying floral or vegetal designs are called arabesque designs.

The Islamic Art as renowned evolved in the 7th century and has spun throughout a period of 1, 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.

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. 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.

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.

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. 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.Photos are now available on Vecteezy!

islamic mosaic art

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Islamic Mosaic Art

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Islamic Ornaments Colorful Vector. Islamic background. Islamic Border Dark Background Vector. Islamic Style Pattern Background. Round pattern in islamic style.Mosaic is a form of art that uses small pieces of material, such as tile, beads, paper or stones, arranged in a specific pattern. This pattern is designed to make up a larger image composed completely of the tiny material patterns.

Mosaic art dates back over 4, years. The art form initially began with the use of terra-cotta cones pressed into a background and different colored stones to create basic decoration and patterns.

In the fourth century B. By B. These typically square pieces were small enough to create detail and range of color. The Byzantine Empire had a large influence on the characteristics of mosaic art from the fifth century onward.

The Byzantines used tiny pieces of nongrouted glass tesserae called smalti from northern Italy that allowed light to pass through. The glass was placed at varying angles, bouncing the light off one another to create an eye-catching shimmer.

In western Europe, Islamic mosaic and tile art was introduced by the Moors in the eighth century. These pieces of art contained mainly mathematical and geographical images.

Even though mosaic art became slightly unpopular by the middle ages, the expanding tile industry increased demand for mosaic tiling patterns in religious buildings by the 19th century. Many of the Islam and Christian mosaics still can be seen today in mosques and temples around the world.

These religious institutions mixed with the introduction of mass tile production launched the trend of decorating floors with mosaics. The Art Nouveau movement of the s also showed interest in mosaic art. By the 20th century, Catalan artists Antoni Gaudi and Josep Maria Jujol invented a technique called trencadis, which utilized broken tiles and shards of crockery to cover the surface of architectural designs.

Today, mosaic art remains fresh with continuous new ideas and approaches from both famed artists and independent crafters.

islamic mosaic art

Many creative individuals use mosaics for home furnishings, interior design, gallery art projects and more. Modern artists, such as Martin Brown, have used mosaic to create portraits of famous artists and even tables inlaid with tiles. Catherine Fiorentino began work as a professional freelance writer in If you love the modern style of decorating because of its use of geometric shapes then you will love this post.

Islamic Art History: An Influential Period

In my introductory post about Islamic design I mentioned that there are two notable forms of Islamic art; Calligraphy and the art of mosaics. Today I will share with you some examples of remarkable mosaic patterns that are used to decorate prominent Islamic sites. Since Muslims are prohibited from drawing figural images, muslim artists combined geometric shapes in highly sophisticated patterns to form amazingly complicated mosaics. What is most captivating about islamic mosaics is the application of mathematical principles to create patterns that do not seem to repeat, something that is called Quasi periodic!

If you like to read more about this, click here. Patterns in Islamic Art is a great website that discusses the origin of Islamic art and shares over images of fantastic mosaic patterns that adorn ancient as well as modern islamic sites. Take a look…. See how many different geometric patterns are presented in each mosaic!

The circle is said to be the most prominent shape used as it symbolizes the oneness of God who is eternal with no beginning and no end. To learn more about patterns and symbols of geometric forms in islamic mosaics click here.

Islamic mosaics feature geometric and arabesque patterns interlaced to form astonishing designs. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail. What do you think of mosaics? Would you use them in your home?

How would you use them?

Early Islamic Art

If you enjoyed this post, sign up for updates its free. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Creative Sparks Join the Home Synchronize email list to get insider tips, tricks, and creative ideas from Lama. First Name E-Mail Address.Islamic architecture used mosaic technique to decorate religious buildings and palaces after the Muslim conquests of the eastern provinces of the Byzantine Empire.

During the Umayyad Dynasty mosaic making remained a flourishing art form in Islamic culture and it is continued in the art of Zellige and Azulejo in various parts of the Arab world, although tile was to become the main Islamic form of wall decoration. The first great religious building of Islam, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, which was built between c.

Only parts of the original interior decoration survive. The rich floral motifs follow Byzantine traditions, and are "Islamic only in the sense that the vocabulary is syncretic and does not include representation of men or animals. The Umayyad mosaics of Hisham's Palace closely followed classical traditions. The mosque was built between c.

The caliph obtained skilled workers from the Byzantine Emperor to decorate the building. This is evidenced by the partly Byzantine style of the decoration. The mosaics of the inner courtyard depict Paradise with beautiful trees, flowers and small hill towns and villages in the background. The mosaics include no human figures, which makes them different from the otherwise similar contemporary Byzantine works.

The biggest continuous section survives under the western arcade of the courtyard, called the "Barada Panel" after the river Barada.

Showcase: The art of Islamic patterns

It is thought that the mosque used to have the largest gold mosaic in the world, at over 4 m 2. The mosaics of the Umayyad Mosque gave inspiration to later Damascene mosaic works. The mausoleum of Sultan Baibars, Madrassa Zahiriyah, which was built afteris also decorated with a band of golden floral and architectural mosaics, running around inside the main prayer hall. Non-religious Umayyad mosaic works were mainly floor panels which decorated the palaces of the caliphs and other high-ranking officials.

They were closely modeled after the mosaics of the Roman country villas, once common in the Eastern Mediterranean. The most superb example can be found in the bath house of Hisham's Palace, Palestine which was made around c. The main panel depicts a large tree and underneath it a lion attacking a deer right side and two deers peacefully grazing left side. The panel probably represents good and bad governance. Mosaics with classical geometric motifs survived in the bath area of the 8th-century Umayyad palace complex in Anjar, Lebanon.


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