When Did Islamic Art Begin?
Islamic art has a long and varied history, dating back to the early days of Islam in the 7th century. Over the centuries, it has evolved and changed to reflect the times and sensibilities of its creators.
While some elements are common to all Islamic art, each period and region has its unique style. So when did Islamic art begin, exactly? Let's take a look at its history to find out!
The early period of Islamic art is marked by a strong Byzantine and Persian influence.
Islamic art is often characterized by its strong Persian and Byzantine influences. During the early period of Islamic art, these influences were powerful. Persian influences can be seen in geometric patterns and detailed floral decorations, while Byzantine influences are evident in the use of bright colors and ornate gold details.
Byzantine art was also heavily influenced by Greek mythology and Roman culture. This influence is evident in depictions of people, who are usually shown wearing clothing covering most of their bodies (figural garments). The faces of these figures tend to be idealized rather than realistic.
And the earliest examples of Islamic art during the time include many buildings constructed in Iraq and Syria.
These structures were built with brick or stone but were decorated with elaborate mosaics made from colored glass and stone. The walls of buildings were also covered with frescoes depicting scenes from everyday life, such as markets and gardens.
Islamic artists also often used figural garments to cover their figures because they felt that nudity was too provocative for religious artwork (since Islam forbids nudity). However, it should be noted that there are exceptions to this rule: some Islamic art features nude figures.
In addition to covering the body, Byzantine artists also used geometric patterns to decorate walls and floors. These patterns were meant to represent nature and other earthly things - such as flowers or birds - which were considered holy by Christians at the time.
The Abbasid Caliphate was founded in 750 AD, after the overthrow of the Umayyad Caliphate. The Abbasids ruled over a vast empire that extended from North Africa to Central Asia. During this time, Islamic art flourished, with artists producing stunning works in various mediums, including ceramics, metalwork, textiles, and painting.
The Abbasid period also saw a flowering of literature, philosophy, and science. In many ways, the golden age of Islamic art reflected the cosmopolitan and open-minded spirit of the Abbasid court.
And since the Abbasid court was a center of learning and culture, it attracted scholars and artists worldwide. This era saw the development of many new artistic styles and the refinement of existing ones, leaving a legacy that can still be seen in the art produced during subsequent dynasties.
After the Mongol invasion, Islamic art went into decline.
Islamic artists had been creating beautiful and intricate works of art for centuries, but the Mongol invasion disrupted this artistic tradition. The Mongols were not interested in promoting Islamic culture and destroyed many mosques and libraries where Islamic art was created and stored.
Islamic artists were not allowed to use symbolic images in their work because they believed it might lead to idolatry (thinking that something other than God was worthy of worship). Instead, they used geometric shapes like triangles or stars to decorate their buildings or clothing. These geometric shapes became more complex as artists tried new ways to create them using different materials such as glass or metal instead of just painting on a wall or ceiling.
They also forced many Muslim artists to convert to their religion, resulting in Islamic art to declined significantly and losing much of its richness and diversity.
This trend continued until the 16th century when the Ottoman Empire came into power and started spreading Islam across Eastern Europe and Africa through trade and conquest.
�The Ottoman Empire helped revive Islamic art in the 16th century.
After a long and rich history that spans centuries and continents, the Ottoman Empire was one of the key players in the revival of Islamic art in the 16th century.
At its peak during this time, it encompassed a vast territory that included parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe. The Ottomans were great patrons of the arts. Their empire became a center for producing Islamic art, such as fine carpets, metalwork, and glassware made in large quantities for domestic and export markets. The Ottomans also patronized the construction of magnificent mosques and other religious buildings.
Furthermore, they encouraged the translation of Arabic texts into other languages, making Islamic learning more accessible to a broader audience. And by patronizing artists and commissioning lavish works of art, the Ottomans helped to re-establish Islamic art as a significant force in the art world.
Moreover, the Ottomans also introduced a new level of realism to Islamic art, which had previously been dominated by abstraction. The result was a period of great creativity and experimentation, which laid the foundation for the development of modern Islamic art.
European styles have greatly influenced modern Islamic art.
Since the late 19th century, European styles have increasingly influenced Islamic art. This is most apparent in the way that modern Islamic artists have incorporated elements of Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, and other Western movements into their work.
This new wave of Islamic art is characterized by its use of vibrant colors and abstract shapes. It often incorporates elements of calligraphy and geometric patterns, but it also draws on other traditions, such as painting and sculpture.
While some conservative Muslims have decried this trend, many scholars believe it has resulted in a more creative form of Islamic art.
And for many Muslims, this type of art provides a refreshing alternative to the more traditional forms of Islamic expression. It allows artists to express their faith in new and innovative ways.
And in a time when the Muslim world is often associated with violence and intolerance, modern Islamic art provides a much-needed reminder that Islam is a religion of peace and inclusion.
There are several different genres of Islamic art.
Islamic art uses geometric patterns and calligraphy, which can be divided into: religious and secular.
The sacred arts are associated with Islamic worship, including mosque decoration, religious architecture and calligraphy. And on the other hand, secular arts include everything else: fine art, decorative arts, handicrafts and folk art.
Moreover, Islamic art is marked by developing a unique calligraphy style that would later become one of the most recognizable aspects of Islamic culture. And calligraphy was used to decorate everything from architecture to jewellery, creating a distinct style that has lasted for centuries.
Islamic art also includes decorative arts such as pottery, metalwork and textiles. These are often produced in luxury materials and feature geometric patterns inspired by nature or abstract designs based on Arabic writing forms.
Islamic art has a long and rich history that is still being explored today. The different styles and genres reflect the various cultures and empires that have contributed to its development. While there have been some periods of decline, Islamic art has always managed to rebound and continue evolving. We hope you've enjoyed learning about this fascinating topic and encourage you to explore it further.