Early Islamic Art In 9th Century
Early Islamic art defines the creative talent of artists residing under the jurisdiction of the Muslim Empire irrespective of their religion. This form of art that commenced in the seventh century was an amalgamation of several cultures. In contrast to its terminology, this art did not symbolize religion alone, but it comprised of rich Islamic ethnicity.
It covered diverse fields such as architecture, calligraphy, painting and ceramics. Islamic art owes its origin to varied sources that include Roman art, Early Christian art, Sassanian art, Chinese art, Central Asian styles and Byzantine styles as well.
This form of art primarily concentrated on the portrayal of patterns and Arabic calligraphy. The artists rarely took figures as their subjects as illustration of the human form was considered to be a sin as per the holy book of Muslims, Quran. However, human depictions are still visible in many Islamic art forms. As a result, calligraphy that involved illustrating written documents and walls with the words of the Quran, came to be identified as the purest art form. The scripts mainly utilized were Kufic and Naskh. Arabesque representing complex geometric, vegetal and intricate floral patterns was a style that was constantly used in Islamic art. These structures of arabesque have been used by artists to depict the omnipresence of their God, Allah. Another interesting feature of these pieces of art is the intentional mistakes in repetitions made by the artists, which is a mark of his modesty. These artists professed that only the Almighty’s name can be synonymous with perfection.
Pottery forms an integral part of Islamic art. In the ninth century, the concept of glazed ceramics such as ‘Stone Paste Ceramics of Iraq’ gained prominence in Islamic pottery. The distinguished art forms of pottery of this phase were 'Lusterware Pottery' and 'Enameled Glass'.
One of the most productive forms of Islamic Art is its architecture. The most ancient building of those times that is intact till date is the ‘Dome of the Rock (Qubbat al-Sakhrah)’ built in Jerusalem in the 691 CE. Domes formed the embodiment of Islamic Architecture, which was spilled over to western architecture in the 19th century.
Islamic Literature was also not far behind. ‘The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights)’ highlights the richness of articulation skills in that era. Islamic music, Puppet theatre and plays known as 'ta'ziya' represent the splendor of the other domains of Islamic Art forms.
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