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Chinese Art

From Middle East to Middle Kingdom

In contrast, the appreciation of Chinese–Islamic works has been negligible. For collectors of traditional Chinese art, these works are not Chinese enough; for Islamic-art collectors, they seem too alien to be considered truly…

Minbar (pulpit) formerly in the Qutubia mosque. From Cordoba, Spain, 1137, Almoravid period. Detail of the marquetry on the sides of the minbar. Cedar wood, ebony and ivory, H:3,86 m

The Masterpiece Minbar

Until relatively recent times, wooden furniture—in the sense of tables and chairs was little known in traditional Islamic societies. Throughout the warm and dry lands of North Africa, the Middle East, India and Central…

alhambra_tour

The Alhambra – A Virtual Walking Tour

To understand the Alhambra you need to look at its history, location and surroundings. It is situated on the hill of Sabika, overlooking the city of Granada. Alhambra means, literately, “The Red” and…

Zillij in Fez

Zillij is an Islamic art that is based on learning, discipline, and faith. The geometric patterns reflect the Islamic belief that life is ordered by cosmic intelligence, even if people cannot always understand…

The Met Resets a Gem

n November, after an eight-year, $50-million renovation, 15 galleries devoted to “The Arts of Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia” will open in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art….

Detail from a folio based on the 1375 “Catalan Atlas” by Abraham Cresques.

Pioneer Physicians

With their legacies of life saving innovations, among the many who helped swing open the door to modern medicine were five whose contributions still resonate.

Tughra or the official signature of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, circa 1555-60.

In Search of Divine Truth

Striving for beauty through proximity to God is a theme that has always permeated Muslim poetry in different historical contexts. Here’s a look at poetics and ethics in Islamic art. Let the beauty…

10th Century Bowl

The Met Says ‘Open Sesame’

In New York, the glories of Islamic art are laid before the world. A gorgeous salad-bowl-size ceramic dazzles the eye upon entry. The bowl suggests a highly refined and thoughtful curatorial choice as…

Beyond the exotic – the pleasures of ‘Islamic’ Art

What is it that makes ‘Islamic’ art ‘Islamic’? In this brief essay, the author explores what links art spanning 14 centuries, several continents, varying political regimes, internecine differences and cultural and ethnic boundaries….

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The Mosque of Cordoba: La Mezquita

The Great Mosque of Córdoba (commonly referred to as La Mezquita) is one of the jewels of Islamic civilisation. It is to Córdoba what the Alhambra Palace is to Granada and the Giralda tower…

Islamic Arts and Architecture © 2017 All Rights Reserved

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FA Bhatti