This course serves as an introduction to the pre-modern Islamic artistic traditions of the Mediterranean, Near East, and Central and South Asia. It surveys core Islamic beliefs, the basic characteristics of Islamic art and architecture, and art and architecture created under each dynasty and ruling party. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: identify the core beliefs of Islam, the major characteristics of Islamic art, and the major forms of Islamic architecture; identify major pre-modern Islamic works of art and monuments from the Middle East, Northern Africa, Spain, and South Asia; explain how the core beliefs of Islam contributed to the basic characteristics of Islamic art and architecture and the secular art works and architecture of the Islamic world; identify the succeeding dynasties that ruled the Islamic world; explain the important role that the patronage of art and architecture had played in definitions of kingship. (Art History 303)
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This art history video discussion examines the "Mihrab" (prayer niche), 1354--55 (A.H. 755), just after the Ilkhanid period, Isfahan, Iran, polychrome glazed tiles, 135-1/16 x 113-11/16 inches / 343.1 x 288.7 cm (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York).
This resource provides a variety of information and activities that teachers may like to use with their students to explore the Islamic Middle East collections at the V&A. It can be used to support learning in Maths and Art. Included in this resource are sections on:
Principles of Islamic art and design
Activities to do in the museum
Activities to do back at school
Islamic art explores the geometric systems that depend upon the regular division of the circle and the study of Islamic art increases appreciation and understanding of geometry. The use of these geometric systems creates a harmony among Islamic decorative arts and architecture, which is consistent with the Islamic belief that all creation is harmoniously interrelated.
Approaching an abstract subject in a concrete way provides a means of extending maths into other curriculum areas. The context of the Museum expands and enriches students' appreciation of the application of geometry in a cultural context and develops the sense of different cultural identities. Students have the opportunity to become familiar with the relationship between geometry and design and this can give confidence to students who have never seen themselves as 'good at art'.