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The spirit of calligraphy

    “Let the pen write from the heart that is joyous and free.” Hafez-e Shirazi (Iran, 14th c.)   Calligraphy, I believe, is a spiritual path that leads, no matter the script,…

INKMAN – Djerbahood Project (Djerba, Tunisia) [Photo Credit: Galerie Itinerrance / Aline Deschamps]

Calligraffiti Art

Calligraffiti, as some of these artists call it, is a unique blend of traditional scripts and designs mixed with modern materials and techniques.

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Unity in Diversity– Reflections on Styles in Islamic Art

It seems that Western art showed a variation in styles in its history, while Islamic art remained stable. The article shows that Islamic art was also driven by the spirit of change.

Aniconism in Islamic Art

The great majority of visual Islamic Art and Architecture is devoid of the depiction of realistic human and animal figures. But why is this? Why and how does Islam promote aniconism?

Qur'an Stand, Iran, 1360 A.D.

14th Century Qur’an Stand

14th Century Stand for a Qur’an, Iran or Central Asia, A.H. 761/A.D. 1360

Bowl, Binkat (modern Uzbekistan), 10th century, Samanid or Ghaznavid dynasty, Mardjani collection

Foliage motifs in Islamic art before Mongol invasion

In the middle of 13th century Mongols came to Eastern Iran. In 1256 they founded Ilkhanid dynasty that reigned in Iraq till 1340 and in Iran till 1353. In a field of art Mongol invasion brought Chinese influence to Islamic artistic tradition, Chinese way of floral motif depiction changed the face of Islamic art.

13. Pyxis, Cordova, Spain, 950-75 AD, Metropolitan Museum of Art.Tree of life composition

Biomorphic patterns in Islamic art – Tracing the origin

Islamic biomorphic patterns are usually called arabesques. The term ‘arabesque’ is relatively new; it came to Europe after Napoleon’s campaign in Africa. “In a broad sense of this term, the arabesque includes ornamentation…

Illuminated Incipit with Headpiece for Chapter 19

18th Century Qur’an in Maghribi Script

This manuscript, Walters W.568, is a fragment of the Qur’an, consisting of chapters 19 (Surat Maryam) through 23 (Surat al-mu’minun).

Illuminated Timurid copy of the Qur’an

A large-format, illuminated Timurid copy of the Qur’an is believed to have been produced in Northern India in the 9th century AH/AD 15th.

Tile with the Great Mosque of Mecca

Tile with the Great Mosque of Mecca

The three lines of Arabic writing in the upper part of this large, ceramic wall tile are from the third chapter of the Qur’an, and exhort the Muslim faithful to make the pilgrimage…

Fig 1: Bursa?/Turkey; dated 1289 H/1872 -73 CE. On the right side below the dervish cap of the Mevlevi order stands  a religious invocation which is mirrored on the left side. The Mevlevis cultivate poetry and other arts in addition to calligraphy.

Calligraphy from Ottoman Dervish Lodges

Alongside the art of the book, which was promoted by rulers at their courts and by religious scholars in mosques and Qur’an schools, Arabic calligraphy was also cultivated in the context of everyday…

A 19th century drawing by Pascal Coste of the Chahar Bagh Madrassah in Isfahan.

Architectural sketches by Pascal Coste

Xavier Pascal Coste (26 November 1787 – 8 February 1879) was a French architect, born in Marseille, France. Showing intellectual and artistic promise, Pascal began his studies in the studio of Penchaud, architect of the département…

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