Islamic Art

1324 WordsApr 26, 20056 Pages
Islamic Art Islamic art is perhaps the most accessible manifestation of a complex civilization that often seems enigmatic to outsiders. Through its brilliant use of color and its superb balance between design and form, Islamic art creates an immediate visual impact. Its strong aesthetic appeal transcends distances in time and space, as well as differences in language, culture, and creed. Islamic art not only invites a closer look but also beckons the viewer to learn more. "The term Islamic art may be confusing to some. It not only describes the art created specifically in the service of , but it also characterizes secular art produced in lands under Islamic rule or influence, whatever the artist's or the patron's religious…show more content…
Such objects were meticulously fabricated and carefully embellished, often with rare and costly materials, suggesting that the people for whom they were made sought to surround themselves with beauty. Royal patronage played an important role in the making of Islamic art, as it has in the arts of other cultures. The construction of mosques and other religious buildings. including their decoration and furnishings, was the responsibility of the ruler and the prerogative of high court officials. Such monuments not only provided for the spiritual needs of the community but often served educational and charitable functions as well. Royal patronage of secular art was also a standard feature of Islamic sovereignty, one that enabled the ruler to demonstrate the splendor of his court and, by extension, the superiority of his state. Evidence of courtly patronage is derived from the works of art themselves, but an equally important source of information is the extensive body of historical texts that attest to royal sponsorship of the arts almost throughout the Islamic period. These historical works also indicate that only a fraction of such court-sponsored art has survived; objects made of precious materials are particularly rare. From the fourteenth century onward, especially in eastern Islamic lands, the arts of the book provide the best documentation of courtly patronage. Of course, not all works of Islamic art were sponsored by the court; in fact, the
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