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Islamic Art And Architecture Essay, Research Paper

Islamic art and architecture points to the artistic accomplishments in the lands where Islam was the dominant religion and from the seventh century on. These lands were the Middle East, North Africa, Spain, Anatolia and the Balkans, and central and northern India. All the monuments and artistic objects, which may have been made with different materials and techniques, have a common artistic language. Islamic art was an art created for the setting of every day life. The most notable religious art were the mosque and the minaret. These were made with the purpose of having a place where people could express their devotion and learn the principles of the faith. Islamic painting developed in the form of book illustration and illumination. These paintings were made to help explain a scientific text andr to reinforce the pleasure of reading literature or history. There are certain techniques that distinguish the decorative arts of the Islamic arts. These techniques involve the application of shimmering glazes and rich colors in ceramics and glassware. Other techniques include sophisticated silver inlays that convert the surfaces of bronze metalworks, extravagant designed stucco and wall panels made of

carved wood, and textiles and carpets woven into millions of different patterns. 2

The oldest figurative representation of Islamic arts correspond to mosaics and painted murals. All of these are related to architecture since they were used to cover and decorate the walls of several constructions. These could have been religious or anti-religious places. The mosaics in these buildings are unique in that in them there are no representations of animals or humans. These absences are due to religious reasons. Only plants, big trees, and combinations of landscapes and architectonics, either real or invented, appeared in the mosaics. In the eighteenth century the use of the mosaics declined.

On the contrary, the use of mural paintings had a long life in the Muslim art. It also represents a particular detail. This is its exclusive use of civilian characters in the buildings. In the Qusayr Amra palace there are remarkably, rich mural paintings. Here there are representations of hunting, athletic scenes, dancers, construction sites, the zodiac signs, historical characters, poetry, thoughts, etc., and a group of people surrounding another person in a throne. In conclusion Islamic art and architecture vary in a variety of ways because of religious reasons.


Islamic art in my opinion is very interesting and extraordinary. It is very cult and unique in that it displays many cultural diversity and religion. Painters and architects made these masterpieces showing scenes of everyday life. It reflect’s the artistic creativity and ingenuity of these artists. It also reverberates typical customs of these people.

The painting on the next page is the one that I will criticize. The first step is the description where I will tell the name of the painting, who made it, when it was made, and where it was made. Later I will explain the analysis which will say the elements and principles of art and how they are used. After that there will be an explanation of the interpretation. This will say how the time and place affected the artist’s painting. Finally I will say the judgement. This will explain if the artwork contributes to the history of art.


This painting is called “Laila and Majnun at School”. It was made by the Persian artist Bihzad in 1494. It was painted in Her t but is know located in Afghanistan. It shows faces drawn with a sense of grace. There are many people working. There is also a large tree which has some fruits in it. There is 4

also what appears to be two openings to go out or into a building.


The elements used in this painting are line, shape, value, color, and texture. You can see that lines are used in the edges of the wall, the small fence surrounding the tree, and in the borders of the painting. Squared and rectangular shapes may be seen in the fence and the openings in the wall. Value is used because although the painting seems very yellowish the tree has a totally different color because it is gray. There is also a large variety of colors in the clothes of the people. Texture is used in the wall of the painting.

The principles used were proportion and emphasis. You can see that the proportions of the people are right in size compared to the walls. The emphasis is made on the tree which is bigger than everything else and is a bit different in color.


At this time the people painted the characteristics of daily life. In this particular painting there is a reflection of a normal everyday life of people with the Islam culture. It shows the influence of Chinese landscapes in the flat


layered perspective of the painting. The gold colored background is unusual though, for a painting of the 16th century. So the time and place did affect the painting.Judgement

In my opinion I think that this work of art does contribute to the history of art. This is because it reflects the typical customs of the past every day life. This makes it easier to understand the facts of that past time.


“Laila and Majnun at School”, by Bihzad in 1494.




in E fah n,


“Dome of The Rock”

in Jerusalem


“Taj Mahal”

in India.

Ardab l Turkish

Carpet Mug made for (16th

the tomb- Century) mosque of



at Ardab l, Iran


Suleimanniye Mosque at Istanbul in 1550.



“Islamic Art and Architecture”. Encarta Interactive. ?1998, CD-Rom

“Arte Isl?mico”. Las Claves Del Arte Isl?mico. Alfredo J. Morales, Editorial Planeta (1991 ed.) Barcelona, Espa?a

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