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Islamic Art Online

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Islamic Art Online

  1. 1. Islamic Art<br />
  2. 2.
  3. 3. Historical Background:<br />The Prophet Mohammed was born in Arabia in 570 CE, at the height of the Byzantine Empire. A trader, married to a wealthy widow, he experiences a spiritual awakening in his early middle age, receiving the word of God (Quran) from the angel Gabriel. He begins preaching in Mecca, criticizing the wealthiest residents who benefit most from the pilgrimages made by pagan Arabs to visit the idols housed in the Kaaba, built by Abraham. He’s forced to flee from Mecca (flight known as the Hegira) and goes to Medina, where his preaching gathers followers. Becoming both a spiritual and temporal military leader, he gathers his forces and returns to conquer Mecca in the first Holy War, in the name of Allah. He preaches submission to God, equality of all before God, strict monotheism, obedience to God&apos;s requirements: prayers facing Mecca 5x/day, fasting during Ramadan, giving alms to the poor, pilgrimage to Mecca (if possible) once during lifetime, following dietary restrictions. Islam becomes the fastest-growing religion in world history. <br />
  4. 4. 5 Pillars of Islam<br />Declaration of Faith<br />Prayer (salat)<br />Zacat or Tithe<br />The Fast of Ramadan (9th month of the Islamic calendar)<br />Pilgrimage<br />
  5. 5. Dedication of Faith<br />There is no god but God (Allah) and Muhammed is his Prophet<br />To become a Muslim one need only make this simple declaration of faith<br />Islam has absolute Monotheism<br />Mohammed transmits the direct word of God<br />Unlike Christ, Muhammed, while the perfect man is not divine – the preeminent role model<br />
  6. 6. Prayer (Salat)<br />5 times a day (daybreak, noon, mid-afternoon, evening, sunset)<br />Alone or together, indoors or out<br />Preferable to pray with others, demonstrating brotherhood<br />Face Mecca when praying, toward the Kaaba (house of God believed to have been built by Abraham and Ismail)<br />Once a week on Friday, gather for the Sabbath at a mosque or Islamic center<br />
  7. 7. Zakat or Tithe<br />Means “purification”<br />Individual and communal responsibility to care for the poor<br />Not veiwed as Charity; it is an obligation<br />Functions as a form of social security<br />
  8. 8. The fast of Ramadan<br />Once a year in the 9th month of the Islamic calendar<br />Represents the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammed<br />IF health permits – abstain from food, drink and sexual activity from dawn to sunset<br />A discipline to stimulate religious reflection<br />Ends with a special feast (resembles Christmas with gifts, food, etc.)<br />
  9. 9. Haji or the Pilgrimage<br />At least once in a lifetime (if able) to Mecca<br />Every year more than 2,000,000 make the journey to form a community of faith<br />Pilgrims wear simple clothing to symbolize purity<br />The Eid al-Adha occurs toward the end: The Feast of the Sacrifice<br />
  10. 10. The Kaaba<br /><ul><li>an ancient stone structure that was built and re-built by prophets as a house of monotheistic worship
  11. 11. located inside the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia
  12. 12. 15 meters high and 10-12 meters wide.
  13. 13. an ancient, simple structure made of granite
  14. 14. serves as a focal and unifying point among the Muslim people</li></ul>According to the Qur&apos;an, the Ka&apos;aba was built by the prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael as a house of monotheistic worship<br />
  15. 15.
  16. 16. Islamic Architecture<br />Built to accommodate as many worshippers as possible in prostrate position: Communal Prayer<br />No elaborate ritual with a center of visual attention (like an altar)<br />Emphasizes horizontality as opposed to verticality (Christian Churches). <br />Roofed part held up by a combination of arches/columns called a hypostyle hall.<br />Worshipers face Mecca. Wall opposite entrance faces Mecca (quibla).<br />Quibla usually marked by a niche (often domed) called a mihrab.<br />Ornamentation prohibits use of graven images (no 3-D forms of humans or animals)<br />Decorations utilize patterns of:<br /> 1. Geometric figures<br /> 2. Intertwining plant forms<br /> 3. Calligraphy of Arabic quotations from Quran.<br />Exterior has at least one minaret, up which the muezzin climbs to call for prayer.<br />
  17. 17. The Dome of the Rock<br />691<br />
  18. 18. The Night Journey of Muhammad on His Steed, Buraq; leaf from a copy of the Bustan of Sacdi, dated 1514. From Bukhara, Uzbekistan. <br />
  19. 19. <ul><li>Built on the site of the first Temple of Solomon
  20. 20. earliest still-extant Muslim structure
  21. 21. built by Caliph Abd al-Malik in 691
  22. 22. represents the Muslims' acquisition of a near-complete Romano-Byzantine architectural program
  23. 23. atypical Islamic religious structure
  24. 24. makes use of the pointed arch, which was later used in Romanesque churches</li></li></ul><li>Islamic Art<br />Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem<br />Houses the rock from which it is said Mohammed ascended to heaven<br />Octagonal plan<br />Inspired by centrally planned churches<br />Commanding view of the dome raised on a drum<br />Profusion of exterior and interior decoration<br />Calligraphy<br />Arabesque<br />Tessellation<br />Inspired by rounded Roman arches, but adding alternating striped stones<br />
  25. 25.
  26. 26. The Alhambra, 1338 - 1390<br />
  27. 27.
  28. 28.
  29. 29. Islamic Architecture<br />The Alhambra, Granada<br />Originally a military fortification<br />Later reconstructed as a palace<br />Slender columns set inside walls and abut window frames<br />Finely chiseled marble gives the effect of transparency<br />Marble cut in honeycomb pattern on ceiling<br />Stone inset in ceilings hangs like stalactites, and double sets of windows provide light<br />Small bubbling fountains provide relief<br />Canals pass water among the buildings<br />Calligraphy<br />Arabesque<br />Tessellation<br />Major emphasis on mathematics and symmetry<br />
  30. 30. Escher&apos;s Sketch of the tessellations in Alhambra, Spain <br />
  31. 31.
  32. 32.
  33. 33. Court of the Lions<br /><ul><li>Fountain surrounded by lions, demonstrating some secular use of animal forms.
  34. 34. Lion form derives from lamassu.
  35. 35. Lions are crudely carved, indicating infrequency with subject in art.
  36. 36. Poem carved in fountain rim describing how fierce the lions would be if not out of respect for the king.</li></li></ul><li>Great Mosque, Córdoba, 786<br />
  37. 37. Built by &apos;Abd al-Rahman I, who escaped from Syria to the Iberian Peninsula after his family was massacred by a rival political dynasty circa 750 by he Abassid revolt. Only surviving member of the Ummayyad dynasty. – 800 family members massacred at peace banquet<br />Consecrated as a Christian Cathedral in 1236 by Ferdinand III, king of Castille<br />
  38. 38. Islamic Art<br />Great Mosque, Córdoba, begun in 786<br />An infinite sea of columns on the interior (columns harvested from existing Roman and Visigothic buildings.<br />Short columns (c. 9 feet) necessitated 2-tiered arches to raise ceiling and increase light.<br />Columns interlace with each other<br />Columns have capitals, but no bases<br />Arches are rounded, with alternating stripes (red brick and white marble)<br />Columns represent endless number of worshippers<br />All face the mihrab<br />Rich, varied visual effects & highly decorative<br />
  39. 39. Hypostyle Hall in Cordoba<br />
  40. 40. The Taj Mahal<br />1640 - 43<br />
  41. 41. Islamic Architecture<br />The Taj Mahal, Agra 1632-48<br />Burial place of Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to her 14th child<br />Enclosed by a large red sandstone wall to provide a focused view<br />Vast symbolic image of Islamic paradise<br />Symmetrical<br />Harmonious<br />Minarets act to balance the composition<br />Typical of Islamic architecture: one large central arch, framed by two smaller arches one above the other<br />Square plan with chamfered corners<br />Small kiosks around dome<br />Dome has an onion shape (ancestry in the Byzantine empire)<br />Intricate floral and geometric inlays<br />Calligraphy across façade and on interior<br />
  42. 42.
  43. 43. Great Mosque at Damascus, 705-711<br /><ul><li>The earliest Muslim building on a gigantic scale
  44. 44. Built inside the fortified outer enclosure of a Roman sanctuary
  45. 45. Had been a Christian church until caliph al-Walid I, demolished and used the material
  46. 46. The square corner towers are the earliest known minarets – became common feature on many mosques
  47. 47. Early interior decoration consisted of mosaics featuring landscapes and city scenes
  48. 48. Flat uniform patterning similar to textile design</li></li></ul><li>
  49. 49. Palace at Mshatta, 743<br /><ul><li>Square fortified palace
  50. 50. Note the sculpted façade which employs intricate plant forms and animals
  51. 51. Employs an arabesque pattern – forshadows the Islamic fascination with geometric interlacing which often dominates interior decoration
  52. 52. caliph Harun al-Rashid writes with Charlemagne
  53. 53. Destroyed by Mongol hordes in 1258</li></li></ul><li>
  54. 54. Great Mosque at Samarra, 850<br /><ul><li>Largest mosque in the world
  55. 55. Could have accomodated 100,000 people gathered for prayer
  56. 56. 10 acres large
  57. 57. All that remains: exterior walls and 164’ high spiral minaret</li></li></ul><li>
  58. 58. Mosque of Ibn Tulun at Cairo, 877<br /><ul><li>Well preserved
  59. 59. New Muslim city near Memphis in Egypt
  60. 60. The earliest of Islamic buildings in Cairo which had a great impact on Medieval architecture in Europe
  61. 61. Aisled portico on the fourth wall contains several mihrabs (unusual)
  62. 62. Sharply pointed arches suported by massive bricks piers into whose corners are set little columns (columnettes) – used extensively in Christian churches in the Middle Ages
  63. 63. Vast spaces of courtyard and arcades produce an effect of spiritual granduer not to be seen until the Gothic churches.</li></li></ul><li>
  64. 64. The Great Mosque at Isfahan <br />15th - 18th centuries<br />Contains no less than 476 vaults, almost all domes<br />First of a new type with 4 iwans <br />
  65. 65.
  66. 66.
  67. 67. The Madrasa of Sultan Hasan <br />14th Century<br />
  68. 68.
  69. 69.
  70. 70. Mosque of Selim II, 1569<br /><ul><li>Ottoman Empire begins around 1300
  71. 71. Located in Edirne
  72. 72. After the fall of Constantinople
  73. 73. This mosque based on the model of St. Sophia, even though a little different
  74. 74. Does use flying buttresses adapted from Gothic architecture
  75. 75. Designed by the great Islamic architect Sinan who also worked extensively in Constantinople</li></li></ul><li>
  76. 76. Calligraphy<br />Topkapi Palace Museum <br />
  77. 77. Islamic Painting<br />Human or animal figures of any kind theoretically banned<br />Generally in effect against large-scale representational art for public display<br />Ornate decorations on practical itmes (incense burners, cloth embroidery)<br />Heavy use in book illustration<br />Merging of outside/inside<br />No sense of true 3-D space<br />
  78. 78. Development of Paper<br />A third important reason for the Golden Age was the establishment of a paper mill (factory) in Baghdad. Paper was first invented in China and then the Muslims learned how it was made. (Actually Chinese papermakers were taken prisoner and forced to teach their captors how to make paper) Soon paper replaced parchment (the skin of animals) and papyrus (a plant made into a kind of &quot;paper&quot; in ancient Egypt). The development of paper made it possible for a great many people to get books and learn from them. This was an important advance which affected education and scholarship.<br />
  79. 79. Bahram Gur in the Green PavilionKhamsa.Tabriz, 1481 <br />
  80. 80. Suleyman the Magnificent as a young man&quot; Semailname, Nakkas Osman 1579<br />Gentile Bellini &quot;The Sultan Mehmet II&quot; (1480) National Gallery, London<br />
  81. 81. Socrates and his StudentsMukhtar al-Hikam wa-Mahasin al-Kalim (&apos;Choice Maxims and Finest Sayings&apos;)by Al-Mubashshir.Syria, beginning of 13th century <br />

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