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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…

Ayazama Mosque, Istanbul

Birdhouses of Turkey

Beautiful bird-houses can be spotted on the facade of a number of mosques in Turkey. The purpose of these charming bird houses was to provide refuge to birds and to protect them from…

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Calligraphy – the geometry of the spirit

This article appeared on pages 16-27 of the September/October 1989 print edition of Saudi Aramco World. Islamic calligraphy is without doubt the most original contribution of Islam to the visual arts, yet it is only…

The Muslim World

Around the World with Nusret Colpan

Nusret Çolpan (October 1, 1952 – May 31, 2008) was a Turkish painter, architect and miniaturist, renowned for his paintings in Ottoman miniature style depicting cities around the world, particularly Istanbul. He painted over 300 miniatures in his 30…

AN IZNIK POLYCHROME POTTERY DISH, TURKEY, CIRCA 1575

Iznik Pottery (16th Century)

This Turkish dish is one of the finest examples of Iznik ceramics anywhere. Painted with a masterful flourish, both delicate and striking, it features one of the earliest known combinations of flora and…

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Arms and Armour Collection

A GOLD-OVERLAID WATERED-STEEL SHIELD, PERSIA, EARLY 19TH CENTURY of domed circular form with four applied bosses with gold overlaid decoration at the outer ring, comprising wholly of cusped cartouches filled with animal motifs…

Islamic Dynasties Chart

The Islamic Dyansties

This schematic chart provides a simplified picture of the political complexities of certain periods. (Large parts of Central Asia, China, South-east Asia and Africa have been omitted.)     islamic dynasties art under…

atlas

A 16th Century Ottoman Atlas

It is an early Ottoman atlas, perhaps dating to the 10th century AH/AD 16th. The work contains 8 double-page charts executed on parchment. Four of the maps show the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black…

Tughra of Suleiman the magnficient

Tughra of Suleiman the Magnificent

Calligraphy, from Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey AD 1520–1566 Between about 1350 and 1550 great swathes of the world were occupied by the superpowers of their day – from the Inca in South America to the…

The Suleymaniye Mosque - Walking Tour

The Suleymaniye Mosque – A Virtual Walking Tour

 This virtual tour is comprised of various spherical panoramic photographs that place you inside the image, as if you were standing in the place where the photo was made. Use your mouse to…

Damascus Room:  Panoramic photo by Dov Friedman/WSJ

Exploring the Damascus Room

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art reopened the museum’s Islamic art galleries to display roughly 1,200 works spanning 13 centuries and dozens of Islamic-influenced cultures. One highlight is the Damascus Room, a 26-foot-long…

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