Islamic art encompasses the visual arts produced from the 7th century onwards by people of the Islamic lands. It spans many different regions, cultures and 1400 centuries. It is not art specifically of a region, or of a time, or of a single medium like painting. It is not restricted to religious objects or architecture, but applies to all art forms produced in the Islamic World. Islamic Art refers not only to works created by Muslim artists or for Muslim patrons but includes art produced by non-Muslim artists or by Muslim artists working for a non-Muslim Patron. Thus Islamic arts encompass a very broad field spanning over 1400 centuries and 5 continents. It includes many art forms such as calligraphy, painting, glass, ceramics, metal, leather, woodwork, rugs and textile.
Despite the very broad definition there are some unifying features that are pervasive in Islamic arts:
Calligraphy is ever present and is considered the highest form of Islamic art as it is depicting the true and spoken word of God.
Arabesque is an artistic pattern created by repeating elements of geometrical floral or vegetal designs. It is a form of artistic decoration consisting of elaborative rhythmic repetition of patterns of scrolling and interlacing foliage, plants or plain lines. To many in the Islamic world; it symbolizes the infinite, un centralized nature of God.
A central feature of Islamic art is its emphasis on intricate and detailed craftsmanship. Creating a high quality object, something that is a delight to behold, is much more important than producing something new and innovative.
Another characteristic of Islamic art is that it does not necessarily tell us anything about the artist’s personal ideas or feelings.
There is emphasis on creating something beautiful and well made, and has a practical use. The artist aims at beautifying everyday life and making utilitarian objects into works of art. Transforming buildings, walls, doors, flooring, clothing into pieces of art is a prevalent theme in Islamic arts