Islamic geometry and patterns

Explore Islam cambridgeMuch of the art of Islam, whether in architecture, ceramics, textiles or books, is the art of decoration – which is to say, of transformation. Whether in a religious setting or not, the work of Muslim artist/craftsmen always manages to convey a certain integrity, even nobility. In fact the distinction between art and craft-work is largely irrelevant in the Islamic world, but even when their works demonstrated surpassing skill and inspiration, the practitioners tended to remain anonymous. This is not surprising; in a culture whose belief is submission to the will of Allah, it was quite natural to submit creative individuality to a perceived higher notion of beauty.

Introduction to Islamic art

 

Islamic art is often vibrant and distinctive.

It includes all the artistic traditions in Muslim culture. Its strong aesthetic appeal transcends time and space, as well as differences in language and culture.

The essentials of Islamic art

 

Includes all Muslim art, not just    explicitly religious art

Islamic art seeks to portray the meaning  and essence of things, rather than just their physical form

Calligraphy is a major art-form

- Writing has high status in Islam
- Writing is a significant decoration for objects and buildings
- Books are a major art-form

Geometry and patterns are important

Meaning and design

 

The art of the Islamic world reflects its cultural values, and reveals the way Muslims view the spiritual realm and the universe.
For the Muslim, reality begins with and centers on Allah.

Allah is at the heart of worship and aspirations for Muslims, and is the focus of their lives.

 Allah is at the heart of worship and aspirations for Muslims, and is the focus of their lives.

Islamic geometry & patterns

 

As early as the 15th century, Islamic buildings contained patterns straight out of modern math.

Medieval Islamic artisans  developed a procedure for creating jigsawlike mosaics that led them to an exotic pattern.

Mathematicians discover nearly half a millennium later

Islamic geometry & patterns

 

 

MEDIEVAL Islamic architects who decorated ancient buildings with intricate tiled patterns were mathematical whizzes.

Islamic geometry & patterns

 

Some of the geometrical designs they created in the 1450s were not discovered in the West until more than 500 years later, a study shows.

A Harvard University researcher, Peter Lu, made the discovery after a trip to Uzbekistan. "It shows us a culture, that we often don't credit enough, was far more advanced than we thought before," he said.

Islamic geometry & patterns

Some examples tell the story best...
While the above pattern appears to be complicated, it is in fact relatively simply constructed.

Islamic geometry & patterns

Some examples tell the story best...
It is easy to see how colouring the trefoils in different colours creates a more lively overall pattern.

Islamic geometry & patterns

Some examples tell the story best...

Islamic geometry & patterns

 

The integration of arts and crafts into everyday life was very much the norm in the traditional Islamic world.

The idea is that as Islam is integral to every part of a Muslim's life and makes it beautiful,
Islamic art should be used to make the things of everyday life beautiful.