Skip to Content

A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Art of the Islamic World

Online
Museum of Fine Arts / Houston / Art

Although idolatry is forbidden across the Abrahamic religions, such a restriction was variously interpreted by respective faiths. For instance, in Islamic art, which moves between many mediums, regions, and centuries, the human form is rarely depicted, as doing so would be a sin. The aesthetic is geometrical rather than figural, featuring intricate curves known as arabesques, and floral and vegetal motifs worked into stunningly precise and reverberating patterns. These repetitions symbolize the infinitude, unity, and transcendent nature of Allah. This online survey of Islamic art illustrates not only the key themes of the early Muslim world, but also the historical events and cross-cultural connections that influenced change. —C.J.F.

Visit
Museum of Fine Arts 1001 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005, USA
Get Directions »
Start a New Search
Subscribers Only

Start your free trial to access the full Arts Intel Report

Subscribe to Air Mail to access every article
and search our entire Arts Intel Report.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Sign in here.