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Islamic Contributions to Architecture

Page history last edited by Precious Nicanor 11 years, 5 months ago

      The Muslims made so many contributions to the realm of the arts. The idea "Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty" encouraged Muslims to beautify the word of Allah and the world through calligraphy and architectural features/techniques. Originally calligraphical art was used to beautify the Quran but moved away from beautifying texts to objects, houses, mosques and eventually to architecture in general.

     Islamic architecture is known for its soaring minarets and spires, its fabled domes, its decorated corridors. All reflect the yearning of Muslims to improve and beautify the world as they place their energies on buildings and their embellishment. Embellishments included the calligraphic mosaics of mosques, tombs and places through out Persia , India, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco along with marble carving, plaster work, delicate inlay and tile work.

      There are so many defining elements of Islamic Architecture. The use of the frame created organization and design. Calligraphy was found in the decoration of almost every Islamic building. Geometry become a major art form by using the circle as a basis and generating patterns from repetition, symmetry and changing scale to create unusual effects. Reflected light was developed and multiplied with the Muqarnas cells beneath domes, and they reflected and refracted light. Ceramic tiles and mirrors to increase the amount of light. Foliation including the classical vine and scroll motifs gave rise to the abstract art of the arabesque. Lastly, water was an essential element. Islamic architecture influenced the widespread use of the niche form for Mihrab, tombstone, door, window or decorative feature, lamps, domes, mosaics, geometric shapes, patterns, intertwining leaf motifs and designs, fountains, gardens, and courtyards.

      Islamic art took from the civilizations surrounding it and also impacted them. The Chinese were influenced in their vases and carpets. Medieval Europe were influenced in their arts and showed it from their adoption of arches to their illuminations of Latin and Hebrew manuscripts.For instance, gothic architecture was influenced by Islamic architecture. Specifically Islamic architecture influenced gothic arhitecture with the architectural feature, the pointed arch. The pointed arch was introduced to Europe after the Norman conquest of Islamic Sicily in 1090, the Crusades which began in 1096, and the Islamic presence in Spain, which all brought about a knowledge of this significant structural device. It is probable also that decorative carved stone screens and window openings filled with pierced stone also influenced Gothic tracery. In Spain, in particular, individual decorative motifs occur which are common to both Islamic and Christian architectural mouldings and sculpture. Of course the epitome of Islamic art can be seen in the greatest Islamic masterpieces such as the grand mosques of Cordova in Spain, the Taj Mahal in India, and the Blue mosque in Turkey. The works of these Muslim artists have become prototypes and models on which other artists and craftsmen patterned their own works, or from which they derived the inspiration for related work.

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