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Arabesques • Swirling designs used to ornament objects. Such as metalwork, pottery, carpet making, and architecture. Maqsud Kashani, The Arbadil Carpet, detail
The wall facing Mecca is known as the qibla, and contains a small prayer niche. The prayer tower opposite the wall is known as the minaret. The teaching mosque (school) is known as the madrasah, and is still open to the sky. The walled in courtyard created a cruciform (cross) floor plan. Only small animals were permitted, and they could not cast a shadow. Mosque, or temple Blue Mosque of Ahmet I, 1617. Istanbul Mecca
The Battle of Alexander with the Dragon • This painting incorporates Chinese subject matter and paining techniques into the new Arab world. • The faces that are in this painting are Middle Eastern, and the space that they are in is Islamic. The Battle of Alexander with the Dragon,14th century. Mongol period in Persia. Gouache on paper, 7” x 11 ½”. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Pottery • Islamic pottery is decorated in motifs, rich colors, and texture to the inexpensive base materials. • This piece of pottery is influenced from Chinese and Turkish traditional colors. Dish with lobed rim and flaring body, 1550-1560. Insik, Turkey. Tin-glazed faience, 13 ¼” diameter. Los angeles County Museum of Art.
Metalwork • Metalwork is used to show that artisans can render materials into beautiful forms. • This bracelet represents harmony due to its rhythmic alignment with theories of symmetry and regularity typical of Islamic culture. Bracelet, 10-11th centuries. Persia. Gold, 2” x 5 1/8”. Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Rugs are the pinnacle of Islamic design due to the knotting techniques with intricate designs and symbolic patterns. This design, gonbad, represents a dome in a Mosque