The Art of Arabic Calligraphy
Discussion Questions * What are the guidelines and aesthetic principles of Islamic art? * What types of objects are art in Islam? * What is the significance of calligraphy and geometric shapes in Islamic art?
How Writing Became an Art Form: • The Revelation of the Qur’an as an inspiration • To glorify the words of God – visually as in recitation • The discouragement of representing human figures
Development of Arabic Script: • As a writing system, Arabic appeared in early 5th Century. • The revelation of Islam had a major impact on the development • of Arabic language & • Script.
Iranian Helmet Candlestick
Calligraphy Applications: • To Glorify & Beautify God’s words • As a form of worship • As a spiritual activity • Artistic • Decoration • Identity
Tughra’was used by the Ottoman sultans as their signature. It was supposed to be impossible to imitate. Signature of an Ottoman Sultan Basmallah in Tughra’ style
See a tughra (tugra) in action http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/96/Tugra_Mahmuds_II.gif
Pictorial Calligraphy: words are manipulated and structured into the shape of a human figure, a bird, an animal or an object. Prayer in a form of a human figure “I testify that there is no god, but God and Muhammad is a messenger of God" Prayer in a form of a Lion “Ali bin abi Talib, the victorious lion of God, may God be pleased with him"
Arabic Calligraphy in Mosques The Dome of the Rock Minbar & Mihrab - Mosque of University of Jordan
Geometric Patterns • Complex geometric designs/ intricate geometrical patterns • Unity, Logic and Order • Unending repetition is believed by some to be an expression of the infinite nature of God. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/geom/hd_geom.htm