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Islamic art history

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Mediums of Islamic art

Islamic art throughout history has been mainly abstract and decorative, portraying geometric, floral, Arabesque, and calligraphic designs. Unlike the strong tradition of portraying the human figure in Christian art, Islamic art does not include depictions of human beings. The lack of portraiture is due to the fact that early Islam forbade the painting of human beings, including the Prophet, as Muslims believe this tempts followers of the Prophet to idolatry. Over the past two centuries, especially with increased contact with Western civilization, this prohibition has relaxed to the point where only the most orthodox Muslims oppose portraiture.

For this reason, Islamic art is often associated with the Arabesque style, which usually involves repeating geometrical patterns that express ideals of order and nature.

Forbidden to paint human beings and taught to revere the Qur'an, Islamic artists developed Arabic calligraphy into an art form. Calligraphers would (and still do) draw from the Qur'an or proverbs as art, using the flowing Arabic language to express the beauty they perceived in the words of Muhammad.

Some examples of styles of Arabic calligraphy include:

Thuluth font
Taliq/Nastaliq/Persian font
Missing image
Diwani.png
Arabic Diwani font

Diwani Al Jali font

See also

External Reference


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