Sunday, June 28, 2009

FIFTH ENTRY: Islamic World

Islamic design does not designate a specific period of time. It has existed since the seventh century when the religion of Islam was formed. Islamic design covers all aspects of life, including buildings, interiors, and decorative elements for secular use. Some of the characteristics are generally geometric but sometimes ornamental. Influences such as Byzantine, Greece, Rome, and the Persian Empire.

**NOTE: A.D. 622 to the Present. Known for detailed arches and spectacular rugs, Islamic culture spread far beyond Istanbul taking root in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and Asia. This will be mentioned later on with India and Spain.

Prayer Rug: Transylvanian Prayer Rug from Ushak, Turkey, and now lies in The Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest.

Madrasa: facade detail in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Each arched bay houses a student's dormitory. Madrasa is a religious building such as a mosque, shrine, convent, or mausoleum.
Arches: these are the 3 different types of arches. The first one is horseshoe arch and a main characteristic of Islamic architecture.

Mihrab: from the Madrasa of Mimami, Isfahan, Iraq circa 1354, faced with a mosaic of glazed tiles 11ft. Mihrab is a prayer niche served to indicate the direction of Mecca.

Sinan's Dome: located in Henri Sterlin, Geneva. This picture is the dome and 2 adjacent half domes from the ceiling of the Sulimaniye Mosque. Although the colour doesn't serve justice, the middle dome has a rich ochre colour and helps highlight the intricate detailing. The architect was Sinan.

Arabesque decoration: This tile matches a border frieze adorning the portal of the tomb of Sultan Mehmed I in Bursa. It has a deeply carved pattern of lattices formed by pairs of undulating vine scrolls. The arabesque lattices is complex, but clarity is achieved through the use of different colored glazes.

Stucco panel: from Samarra with ornate decoration.

More decorative details:

Wooden frieze: Egypt

Window-grill: from the Umayyad Mosque

Stucco decoration: Ibn Tulun Mosque ; Egypt.

Decorative brick: Mausoleum of the Samanids.

Ardabil Carpet: most famous of all Persian carpets. Was signed by Maqsud Kashani and completeled in 1530 in Iraq. Silk and wool, 36ft long.


  1. amazing..we appreciate islamic arcitechture in past time,we hope islam will be better in the future. Subhananallah

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