Islamic Art

Concurrent Dates

325 CE Council of Nicea
476 CE Western Rome falls
632 CE Death of Mohammed
711 CE Muslim armies enter Spain
1099 CE First Crusade captures Jerusalem
1453 CE Byzantium falls to the Ottomans
1492 CE Final expulsion of Muslims and Jews from Spain (also, something about Columbus…)

Target Concepts

  • As structures and regions changed hands, cultures appropriated and repurposed the art, religious structures, and styles of the preexisting groups
  • Sources of influence came from conquest, conflict, proximity, and trade.  These sources of influence include the Silk Road and the Crusades
  • Islamic art did depict figural art, but with some restrictions. Rules for luxury items differed from rules for religious items
  • For Islamic art textiles are a dominant and influential art form, affecting other artistic mediums

Islam and Muhammad

The Five Pillars of Islam

Islamic Aesthetics

The Kaaba
Mecca, Saudi Arabia, 7th century BCE granite masonry, covered with silk curtain and calligraphy in gold and silver-wrapped thread

Dome of the Rock
Jerusalem, 7th century CE
Cuerda seca

The Great Congregational Mosque of Isfahan
Isfahan, Iran, 8th century CE brick, wood, plaster, and glazed ceramic tile
Iwan, muqarnas, mosque, qibla wall, minaret, mihrab, arcade (arcaded), hypostyle hall

The Great Mosque at Cordoba
Spain, 8th century CE

Al-Kahf, page from the Quran
Unknown provenance, 10th century CE ink and gold on vellum 7”x10”
Quran, calligraphy, finial

Pyxis of al-Mughira
10th century CE Ivory

Great Mosque of Djenne
Africa, Mali begun 13th century CE wood and adobe
(found in chapter 15)

Baptistere de Saint Louis, by Muhammad Ibn Al-Zayn
Egypt, 14th century CE brass inlaid with gold and silver 8” high

Bahram Gur Fights the Karg
From the Great Il-Khanid Shahnama
Persian, 14th century CE ink and opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper

Alhambra Palace
Spain, 14th century CE whitewashed adobe, stucco, wood, tile, paint, and gilding

The Court of Gayumars
From the Shah Tahmasp’s Shahlnama
16th century CE, ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

The Ardabil Carpet, by Masqsud of Kashan
Iran, 16th century CE knotted wool and silk 35’ x 18’

Mosque of Selim II, Sinan
Turkey, 16th century CE brick and stone

Taj Mahal
India 17th century CE
(found in chapter 26)

Jahangir Preferring a Sufi Shaikh to Kings, by Bichitr
India 17th century CE opaque watercolor on paper 2’ x 1’
Miniature, Sufi
(found in chapter 26)