OVERVIEW: What to Expect from Class There is no compulsion in religion. Quran 2:256
Matter-of-fact historical overview of Islamic Arts and Culture. Exploration of the roles religion, geography and tradition have played. Context for comparison across time and styles. Relation of Islamic Arts to more familiar Western forms. Focus on Moorish, Persian and Ottoman styles. Exploration Islamic arts, sciences and social practices across diverse cultures. Limited discussion of modern trends. Combination of lecture, demonstration, and discussion. Handouts and reading suggestions as appropriate. Available after class for questions.
OUR DEFINITION Islamic Art is not just made for Islamic practices and places but art made by and for people who live in lands where most, or the most important people, are Muslims. Some Islamic Art was made by Christians, Jews or others for Muslims or their own use. Muslims also created art intended for use by Jews, Christians or others.
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF ISLAMIC ART FLEXIBILITY AND TRANFERENCE ACROSS DISCIPLINES
CALIGRAPHY AND THE BOOK Importance of Qur’an to Islam gives importance to calligraphy and the art of bookmaking. Calligraphy is considered “Queen” of Islamic Arts as compared with large scale painting in the West.
THE ARTS OF TRANSFORMATION REFERS TO ARTISTIC ENDEVORS THAT REQUIRE THE USE OF FIRE TO CREATE THE FINISHED PRODUCT. CERAMIC, GLASS, AND METALWORK. CONSIDERED “DECORATIVE ARTS” IN WEST BUT ARE FINE ARTS FOR ISLAM.
MOORISH TIME FRAME AND LOCALES MOORISH ART INCLUDES SOUTHERN SPAIN AND NORTH AFRICA TO EGYPT. VARIOUS DYNASTIES BUT WITH CULTURAL CONTINUITY AND COHESION. LANGUAGE IS ARABIC. 711 TO 1300CE WITH FOCUS ON 1000-1350CE.
PERSIAN TIME FRAME AND LOCALES PERSIAN CULTURAL CORE CONSISTS OF AREA BOUNDED BY CASPIAN SEA IN NORTH, EUPHRATES TO EAST, PERSIAN GULF AND ARABIAN SEA IN SOUTH AND AFGHAN HIGHLANDS TO EAST. PERSIAN NOT IRANIAN. LANGUAGE IS FARSI AND IS WRITTEN IN ARABIC SCRIPT.
DIFFERENT TIMES FOR DIFFERENT ARTS 8 TH TO 17 TH CENTURIES CE. POETRY 13-17 TH CENTURIES CE. ARCHITECTURE 7 TO 19 TH CENTURIES CE. ARTS OF TRANSFORMATION ACROSS ALL PERIODS.
OTTOMAN NOT TURKISH OTTOMAN BORDERS VARIED OVER TIME. ENCOMPASED WIDE VARIETY OF ETHNIC GROUPS, LANGUAGES AND RELIGIONS. MAIN LANGUAGE WAS OTTOMAN WRITTEN IN ARABIC SCRIPT. 1450 TO 1800CE FOCUS.
FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM THERE IS NO GOD BUT GOD AND MOHAMMED IS HIS PROPHET PRAY 5 TIMES A DAY CHARITY FAST DURING RAMADAM PILGRIMAGE TO MECCA ONCE IN A LIFETIME IF ABLE
NEED MORE INFORMATION? Refer to hand out for a general overview of the Five Pillars and Six Foundations. Best book for more in depth discussion is Karen Armstrong, Islam If you have questions or want more information we are available after class.
ALLAH ALLAH IS THE ARABIC WORD FOR GOD. IT IS NO DIFFERENT FROM GOTT IN GERMAN OR DIEU IN FRENCH. IT ONLY MEANS GOD, NOT A SPECIFICIALLY MUSLIM GOD.
MUHAMMAD IS THE PROPHET OF GOD ONLY A MAN. PROPHET AND MESSANGER THRU WHOM GOD SENT THE KORAN. PREEMINENT ROLE MODEL FOR LEADING A MUSLIM LIFE.
SIX Foundations of Faith Believe in God His angels His messengers/prophets His Books His determination of all things The Day of Judgment
BELIFE IN KORAN PROVIDES SOURCE OF INSPIRATION TO ALL ART FORMS JUST AS SCRIPTURES DO FOR JEW AND CHRISTIANS.
NO IMAGES OF GOD GOD IS INEFFABLE. MUSLIMS DO NOT ASSOCIATE HIM WITH ANY FORM. ISLAM DID NOT DEVELOP TRADTION OF LARGE SCALE PAINTING OR SCULPTURE BECAUSE OF THIS.
GOD IS ONE INTERIOR SPACE IN MOSQUES IS OPEN AND UNDIVDED UNLIKE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES WHICH MAY HAVE SIDE AISLES AND SIDE CHAPELS.
MOHAMMED IS HIS PROPHET NO REPRESENTATION OF MOHAMMED TO AVOID TREATING HIM AS ANYTHING OTHER THAN A MAN. NO RESPRESENTATION OF HUMANS OR ANIMALS IN SACRED SPACES. PUT ARTISTIC FOCUS ON AREAS WEST DOES’NT CONSIDER “FINE ARTS”.
GEOGRAPHY AND GEOLOGY ARID, SEMI ARID AND DESERT LANDS. MAIN WATER SOURCES LARGE RIVER SYSTEMS OF NILE, TIGRIS, EUPHRATES, AMU DARYA, INDUS AND GANGES. VAST STEPPES FROM CENTAL ASIA THRU TO TURKEY. POCKETS OF HIGH, RUGGED MOUNTAIN RANGES AND DEEP VALLEYS SEPARATED FROM ONE ANOTHER.
EFFECTS ON ART AND CULTURE GEOGRAPHY PROVIDES THE INSPIRATION FOR 4 OF THE 6 UNIVERSAL THEMES-INFINITY, NIGHT, THE RIVER/WATER, THE MOUNTAIN. IT CREATES THE NECESITY FOR HOSPITALITY TO OTHERS IN SUCH HARSH CLIMATES.