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Islamic Civilization – ALI110 Session Four – March 16, 2006 Islamic Art and Architecture.

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Presentation on theme: "Islamic Civilization – ALI110 Session Four – March 16, 2006 Islamic Art and Architecture."— Presentation transcript:

1 Islamic Civilization – ALI110 Session Four – March 16, 2006 Islamic Art and Architecture

2 Islamic Art and Spirituality Islamic art reflects the inner dimension of Islam. Beneath the beautiful and magnificent exterior, there lies a brilliant, inner beauty. There is meaning behind the structures used, the patterns and designs, and the use of space. The principle of Tawhid, the most fundamental of Islamic beliefs, is reflected in the motifs, the arch, the dome, and other central features of Islamic art.

3 Understanding Islamic Art The concept of Allah’s infinite power is evoked by designs with repeating themes which suggest infinity. Human and animal forms are rarely depicted in decorative art. Calligraphy is used to enhance the interior of a building by providing quotations from the Quran. Islamic architecture has been called the "architecture of the veil" because the beauty lies in the inner spaces (courtyards and rooms) which are not visible from the outside (street view). Use of impressive forms such as large domes, towering minarets, and large courtyards are intended to convey power.

4 Patterns in Islamic Art The pattern in Islamic art is a motif that is repeated over and over again. It shows multiplicity of one unit, symbolic of the Divine oneness that is manifested everywhere. unity in multiplicity and multiplicity in unity the pattern in Islam shows a similar, identifiable motif that is parallel and repetitive. It blends together to form one. This is to reflect a feeling of community, that there is oneness in diversity.

5 Features of Islamic Art The Arch The peaked arch commonly used in Islamic architecture. A deeper understanding reveals the peak to represent: the oneness (of Allah) the common origin (from Allah) and the common end (to Allah) of all of creation. The Dome The dome is a characteristic feature of Muslim religious architecture and has symbolic meanings. It is a towering symbol of spiritual ascent to heaven. The shape of the dome also reflects the perfect balance of Tawhid or the unity of God. The dome's exterior, which extends to the infinity of the heaven, is the same shape as the interior. The highest point of the dome represents the unity of God.

6 Elements of Islamic Architecture Islamic architecture may be identified with the following design elements: Large courtyards often merged with a central prayer hall Minarets or towers a mihrab or niche on an inside wall indicating the direction to Makkah. Domes Use of iwans to intermediate between different sections. Use of geometric shapes and repetitive art Use of decorative Arabic calligraphy. Use of symmetry. Ablution fountains. use of bright color. focus on the interior space of a building rather than the exterior.


8 The art of Calligraphy The art of calligraphy has always been a focal point of all Muslim art. The Muslims try to write the word of God as beautifully as possible. Arabic calligraphy is a primary form of art for Islamic visual expression and creativity. It is a symbol representing unity, beauty, and power. There is abstract beauty in the lines and the parts join to form a decorative whole. These parts include positive spacing, negative spacing, and the flow of lines that weave together the calligraphy. The abstract beauty of Arabic calligraphy is not always easily understood.

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