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Islamic Art

A lecture I gave on the concept and application of Islamic Art.

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Islamic Art

  1. 1. Islamic Art Mr. Lopez World Geography
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Islam is much more than a formal religion: it is an integral way of life. In many ways it is a more determining factor in the experience of its followers than any other world religion. The Muslim (&quot;One who submits&quot;) lives face to face with Allah at all times, and will introduce no separation between his life and religion, his politics and his faith. With its strong emphasis on fulfilling the will of Allah, Islam has become one of the most influential religions in the world today. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Religion <ul><li>The principles and teachings of Islam as a way of life, a religious code, and a legal system were initiated by Muhammad (ca. 570–632 A.D.) an Arab merchant from Mecca. These teachings were revealed to him over a period of many years beginning in 610 and were written in the text known as the Qur’an. The word of God, as set out in the Qur’an and handed down in the sayings of Muhammad forms the core of the religion. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Religion <ul><li>The primary premise of the Islamic faith is monotheism, a renunciation of all deities except one, Allah, who alone is the creator, sustainer, and destroyer of life. Islam is Arabic for ”submission,“ here to the single entity of Allah. The recognition of Muhammad as Allah’s last prophet, a prophet like Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and the others that preceded Muhammad, is also a key element of the belief. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Why Art? <ul><li>Islamic art conveys the spirituality and quintessential message of Islam through a timeless language which precisely because of its timelessness as well as its direct symbolism, is more effective and less problematic than most of the theological explanations of Islam. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why Art? <ul><li>It is the serene, intelligible, structured and highly spiritual character of Islamic art which more than any other element leads to a correct understanding of the culture that is Islam. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Why Art? <ul><li>For an American audience an introduction to Islamic Art can represent the first step toward penetrating the history of a religion and a culture that are often in the news but are little understood. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Islam & Art <ul><li>Contrary to modern ideas, Islam does not consider art and beauty as a luxury. It considers beauty to be a divine quality and says that god loves beauty. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Islam & Art <ul><li>Neither the Qur’an nor the Traditions contain specific mandates against figural representation in art . However, both sources take a firm stance against idolatry and the worship of images. These beliefs were interpreted strictly by early Islamic religious leaders and as a rule against the depiction of human or animal figures. </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Three Principles <ul><li>They are made up of a small number of repeated geometric elements. </li></ul><ul><li>The simple forms of the circle, square, and straight line are the basis of the patterns. </li></ul><ul><li>These elements are combined, duplicated, interlaced, and arranged in intricate combinations. </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Three Principles <ul><li>2. They are two-dimensional. Islamic designs often have a background and foreground pattern. </li></ul><ul><li>The placement of pattern upon pattern serves to flatten the space. </li></ul><ul><li>Artists of the Islamic world were largely uninterested in linear perspective </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Three Principles <ul><li>3. They are not designed to fit within a frame. </li></ul><ul><li>The complex arrangements and combinations of elements are infinitely expandable; the frame surrounding a pattern appears to be arbitrary and the basic arrangement sometimes provides a unit from which the rest of the design can be both predicted and projected. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Conclusion <ul><li>Islamic art was the means whereby the spirit of Islam penetrated into all types and modes of activity, into all the moments of a man's life, reminding him wherever he was of the divine presence. Art was, and continues to be, a most precious support for the Islamic ideals of life and living. </li></ul>