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Article: Famous Islamic Art

Famous Islamic Art

Introduction On Islamic Art

Art historians defined Islamic art as a category in the 19th century and described all art produced in nations where Islam was the dominant religion. Islamic art doesn't just refer to works created by Muslim artists but encompasses art created by people of all faiths; this includes Muslims, Jews, and Christians, living in Islamic nations.

It's worth noting that the art styles of the Greeks, Romans, early Christians, and Byzantines made their mark on Islamic art, as did Pre-Islamic Persia, Central Asia, and China. So, let's explore five famous examples of art from the Islamic world:

Famous Islamic Art

1. Architecture

Islamic architecture is not only known for its domed ceilings and minarets but also for its exquisite tile work. The Byzantine era led to the practice of creating glazed tiles in bright and vivid colors.

Some tiles were molded in relief depicting human figures, animals and lettering and were part of a design that included star-shaped tiles appearing at intervals amongst the reliefs. Another form of tiling involved using semi-precious jewels and stones on inlaid panels to depict floral patterns; examples of these tiles can be seen at the Taj Mahal.

2. Calligraphy

Calligraphy has always played a prominent part in Islamic art - in texts, such as books, poems, or single sheets of Qu'ranic verses. You will find calligraphy in painting, sculpture, pottery, religious writings on ceilings and domes, small images, buildings and coins. 

The language of the calligraphy depended on the location and was always one of the four - Urdu, Arabic, Persian, or Turkish.

3. Textiles

Oriental carpets are world-renowned as one of the most significant accomplishments of Islamic art. These have a religious significance for Muslims as they are used for worship, but are also loved by non-Muslims. 

The patterns you find on rugs and carpets can also be seen on other types of textiles, including wall coverings, cushions, and tablecloths. Authentic oriental carpets are hand-woven featuring numerous intricate designs and bright colors. If you like the look of an oriental carpet, but you are on a budget, mass-produced versions abound, but they don't compare to the real thing. 

4. Glass Work

Islamic glass production was exceptionally innovative from the seventh to the fourteenth century. It underwent many phases, including relief-cut glass and gilded and enamelled objects. 

The field of Islamic glass art rose to excellence yet remains overlooked by art historians. Some of the most outstanding work from anonymous glassmakers has been housed in private and public collections and is gaining widespread appreciation worldwide, which is only fitting for this magnificent craft.

5. Paintings And Illuminated Manuscripts

Islamic paintings and illuminated letterings were among Islamic nations' most celebrated artistic achievements. Persian miniatures significantly influenced miniature art in other countries. Compositions included more figures than before and subjects didn't have to be religious.

Illuminated manuscripts were used in religious and secular texts alike. Later, Chinese influence resulted in different perspectives highlighting distance, scale, and height.

Top Islamic Artworks

  • Taj Mahal
  • Dome of the Rock
  • Friday Mosque of Herat
  • The Luck of Edenhall - glass beaker from the 13th century
  • Khamsa of Nizami - painted in 1539, Persian

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