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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.

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…

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…

Shahi Mosque Chiniot. Photo copyrights - Nadeem Khawar (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nadeemkhawar/)

Chiniot’s Shahi Masjid

Chiniot’s Shahi Masjid (Badshahi Mosque) was built by Nawab Saad UlIah Khan (1595- 1655) during the regime of Emperor Shah Jahan (1628-58).

Hui culture park, China.

Taj Mahal – Made in China!

Established in September 2005, the Hui Culture park  is located in Yinchuan, capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The park is the only place in China designed especially to display ethnic Hui…

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