Talk:Islamic art

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Technically speaking, Arabic Calligraphy should be divided to enable us to create Islamic Calligraphy, reason being for i.e. Naskh script has no relation to Arabic Calligraphy per say, as it was solely redesigned by Ibn Muqlah (10th century. AD.), then reformed by Ibn Al-Bawaab & others into a graceful script worthy of being used in the Quran. In addition, majority of Quran copies are written in Naskh script (if not all) than in all the other scripts all-together - which is why we should not include Naskh under "See also" as being an Arabic Calligraphy only. Please comment, thank you. --NEWUSER|CARPEDIEM (talk) 17:39, Jun 1, 2005 (UTC)

Islamic tilework of the Shrine of Hadhrat Masoumah, first built in the late 8th century.

Moving page[edit]

Wouldn't this be better located at "Islamic art"? I will move it unless anyone objects. Soo 13:06, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Makes sense to me. >>sparkit|TALK<< 14:57, August 23, 2005 (UTC)


Tables, templates and images are skewing each other. Joffeloff 11:43, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Human figure[edit]

I know that many Muslims follow that tradition suggesting Muslims are not to make art representing the human form. However, both Mughal and Safavid art are considered "Islamic art", and both OFTEN portray the human figure. I think the point needs to be mentioned...Some Muslim traditions exclude imageries of the human forms, others are less restrictive. The article mentioned an 'exposure to the west' reason for Muslims relaxing the rules on depicting humans..I don't know that I believe that. If it's true, it's not only the west that shaped the change- Indian and Persian art has alot to do with motivating the artistic qualities of Muslim art in Asia. I think there's a consensus that human depictions are almost never found in mosques. I have a source anyway- the Pilot Guides video on mosques. I don't know that video sources count as documentation. If there's a challenge to that fact, I'll look up a textual source. His Excellency... 22:02, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

The Human representation is not forbidden in the Qur'an per se but in the Hadiths written later. Source Institut Français du Proche orient. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:08, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

French article; overhaul?[edit]

Ok, the tags at the top of the talk page are right. This entry is as good as useless, completely ahistorical, and lacks a single concrete example (Dome of the Rock, anyone?). The French entry is superb. Would anyone object to my translating it and placing it here? --Javits2000 22:55, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Good idea. I've tried to find some time to translate the French article but couldn't. I'd help if you'd start it. -- Szvest Ω Wiki Me Up ® 11:20, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Brilliant. At present I've produced a rough text up through the Fatimids. At most points it's a fairly literal translation, but I've exercised some editorial discretion -- i.e. "L'art d'Afrique du nord est assez méconnu, par manque de recherches depuis la décolonisation" (!) is weg, as the Germans say. What's the protocol for a project like this: should I post little by little, or all at once when finished? --Javits2000 12:13, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Ok, I've overhauled on basis of French article, as discussed above. Comments and corrections are of course heartily welcomed. A few points: 1) This is probably about a half of the French article, the historical narrative portion; the sections on technique, historiography, etc., still wait to be created. 2) PICTURES. Any help that might be offered in illustrating this article would earn a debt of gratitutde. The French article has quite a few good images, as do a number of the English articles linked here (i.e. individul monuments, cities, etc.). 3) Transliteration, etc. For the sake of convenience I've followed the transliterated forms of dynasties, names, cities, etc. already employed in the pre-existing Wiki articles. As a result there is of course little consistency. --Javits2000 12:45, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Images anyone[edit]

I came here expecting to find some Islamic art images, --HalaTruth(ሀላካሕ) 20:56, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Try the link at the bottom of the page to WikiCommons; or the link at the side to the French article. And if anything you find there strikes you as a useful contribution to the main article, please feel free to help out by adding it in.--Javits2000 13:59, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Seeking the truth[edit]

I agree, I think this article should remind there are different traditions in Islam and human representation and the representation of the Prophet exists --tupinambah 12:38, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Quite right, and many thanks for your contribution -- especially for a very useful source, and indeed one that's available online! I've moved it to a footnote only because it seemed too specific a discussion for the introductory paragraphs, which in any case already quite clearly acknowledge the existence of depictions of humans and of the Prophet. I also attempted to remove the rather contentious passages of your text (e.g. "contrary to the false claims of the media," or wording to that effect). It strikes me, however, that if this is a subject of particular interest to you (that is, the history of depicitons of the Prophet), then it might make a very interesting article in its own right, and one that could be prominently linked from this page. Regards, --Javits2000 12:48, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Javits, thanks for your comments and changes, after all the text became much better. I would like to make clear that I am not interest exclusively in the Islamic iconography. My interest is on religions (and cultures) in general. Knowing that Islam has been victim of misconceptions for centuries and nowadays is, perhaps, the most misinterpreted, I think it is important for us engage on the debate and fight against ignorance. Finally, I would like to say I am fascinated by your subject knowledge - Byzantine Empire. Best wishes, tupinambah 10:58, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Photo gallery[edit]

The gallery at the bottom should be edited; either labelled with periods and placed with its respective text. A photo gallery is nice to look at, but it is not informative.Elliotb2 03:29, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Agreed; it's my opinion that the present images in the text and the link to Wiki Commons are sufficient. The gallery could probably be removed. --Javits2000 08:42, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Islamic Art Origins[edit]

The foundation of Islamic art cannot be placed into a single century and onwards. Right? As with all art, it has absorbed some prior styles. It first sort of took form as a series of appropriations of preexisting Graeco-Roman, Byzantine Christian, and Sasanian art forms. Aren't the actual periods of art and their crossovers/stops/starts sort of difficult to date into a century or less? Just wondering. Also, the phrase "arts", in the intro, seems a little ambiguous and vague in my opinion. Could there be a more exact word to use? Sedonaarizona 03:38, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

I think the influences of Byz., Sasanian, etc. are discussed in the article, right? In any case the article starts with the foundation of the Islamic community, which can be dated pretty precisely. Before the 7th century, no Islam, hence no Islamic art.--Javits2000 21:28, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Very true. Islam as a religion did not develop until the seventh century, and therefore the title of 'Islamic Art' could not be granted prior to that. Got it. Thanks!!!! Sedonaarizona 23:49, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Can someone please clarify what a "commercial link" exactly is that does not qualify as a valid "external link"? - Mussnoon (talk) 07:01, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

See the guidelines at Wikipedia:External links. I assume your post is in reference to this link, which you have added a couple of times. I see a couple of reasons for not including this; first, it appears to be designed to highlight the work of a specific contemporary artist working in the Islamic tradition, and does not constitute a major resource for information about Islamic art in general, or even about a particular subfield (compare e.g. Museum with no frontiers, a good example of a genuine resource). Second, its primary purpose seems to me to be "to sell products or services" (see under the guidelines, "Links normally to be avoided," no. 5) -- whether for charity or for profit is beside the point. --Javits2000 (talk) 19:11, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. Yes, my post was in reference to that link. I had assumed it could serve as a collection of examples and since it was non-profit, I'd went ahead and put it in. I think the commercial link description in the first removal was inappropriate. - Mussnoon (talk) 04:29, 2 March 2008 (UTC)


Although I have not had time to read it completely, this impresses me as a good and informative article. However it could be improved by better sourcing because many sections do not cite any sources . I do not want to put a tag it because that might give readers the impression there is something wrong with the article. Nevertheless, some editors could do a good deed by adding what is needed: WP:VERIFY. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 16:54, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Film, anyone?[edit]

Are we omitting cinema of Egypt, cinema of Iran and cinema of Turkey because they are of the modern era, after the ancient accomodation with formal Islam?Dogru144 (talk) 20:27, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

"Art" is normally reserved for visual art in articles like this. A section in Islamic culture would be the appropriate place to have links to all these, and other articles, and a short summary. Johnbod (talk) 22:53, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Images for possible use[edit]

Word Arabesque misused[edit]

Arabesque is properly a style of European art derived from Arabic sources. Arabesque is a French word denoting "like Arabic". It is not about the prototype itself nor about motifs in Arabic art per se. A replacement word needs to be used to refer to Arabic motifs used in Arabic art, and substituted for arabesque in this article. I would suggest "Arabic Motifs". Perhaps the actual Arabic word for such motifs could be used, with anglicised spelling? does anybody know what that word would be? (Lobsterthermidor (talk) 18:22, 10 March 2011 (UTC))

As I've said at Talk:Arabesque, your perception is just incorrect, & the term is widely used in the art history of Islamic art - see this gbooks search. There is no "style of European art derived from Arabic sources" as such, but motifs called arabesque are used at various times & places in Europe, as Wetman articulates at the other page. Johnbod (talk) 18:22, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

in obverse and reverse, creating an exact mirror image.[edit]

Whats the redundancy/tautology for? If you have the same thing written in obverse & reverse, it by definition is a mirror image. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:14, 21 May 2011 (UTC)


The article should make it clear the sheer notion of Islamic art is not accepted by all specialists. Racconish Tk 07:33, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

It does: "Though the whole concept of "Islamic art" has been criticised by some modern art historians, the similarities between art produced at widely different times and places in the Islamic world have been sufficient to keep the term in wide use by scholars." - para 3. Johnbod (talk) 11:32, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I added the above ref there.Racconish Tk 11:39, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Oh - it's very over the top, & he is no art historian. I'll have to upgrade it at some point. Johnbod (talk) 11:46, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Ok, good now, though the intro of the Yale History of Art has a good bit too. Johnbod (talk) 19:40, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Not Great :([edit]

I was researching for an essay and I was shocked to find no list of contemporary artists :( Maybe someone could put a list up?? ;)

Islamic ban on images[edit]

I read an article once that in Malaysia would be illegal to have, the Arabic word or calligraphy of Allah and Muhammad, such as a visible tattoo. Is this true? And includes the Islamic ban on images, in which case these two things normally? -- (talk) 18:56, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

I've not heard that but, looking at Blasphemy law in Malaysia, I wouldn't be surprised. If you find a reference it could go in there. Johnbod (talk) 19:02, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Is the ban on images accurate?[edit]

This sentence "Typically, though not entirely, Islamic art has focused on the depiction of patterns and Arabic calligraphy, rather than on figures, because it is feared by many Muslims that the depiction of the human form is idolatry[13] and thereby a sin against God, forbidden in the Qur'an." Implies that the Qur'an bans the depiction of human figures, or it is at least ambiguous about whether the Qur'an bans images of humans or only idolatry. I looked into this, and it is only idolatry which is banned, and all traditional bans on the depiction of figures is on the basis that the depiction of a figure is an idol. I would think that either the sentence needs to be softened such that its clear that the Qur'an bans idolatry, and that some have interpreted this to mean that all figures constitute idolatry, or some references should be given to the relevant parts of the Qur'an, so that the reader can see for him or herself. As it stands, the sentence regarding the ban is ambiguous, the Qur'an is not actually cited, and the only concrete reference is to a book of secondary literature written by a Christian westerner. This seems like inappropriate justification for the claim of the sentence. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Byrnesj (talkcontribs) 02:17, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

There is more detail at where it belongs at Aniconism in Islam and Depiction of Muhammad, which I think are linked here; I suggest you look into it a bit more, including considering the wording of the text here more carefully. The relevant texts are mainly in the Hadith, and the statement here is quite enough I think. We are supposed to use secondary sources (WP:PRIMARY), and a Western scholar is a perfectly good reference to use on this very well explored issue, especially as he is neither a Sunni nor a Shia, which tends to colour Islamic views. Johnbod (talk) 02:22, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Main picture[edit]

I think the lead pictures here is not broad, there are two pictures that concerns architecture and one about carpet, all of them with rather dull colors. The lead pictures should also have either Islamic ceramic or calligraphy. I suggest either of the following pictures:

And the ardabil carpet image I think would be better in the lead section. Alteaven (talk) 09:45, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Current ones are alright. elmasmelih (used to be KazekageTR) 10:21, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

I agree (having chosen them). The mosque ceiling just looks like a geometric scheme at thumbnail size, and calligraphy is not really covered in this article. You want two Persian pieces as the 2 lead pictures? The 3rd image currently combines calligrahy and ceramics, and is a similar blue to the Iznik dish you suggest. Johnbod (talk) 00:38, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
(regarding the ceiling mosque) But isn't that the focal point of Islamic art? Considering that calligraphy is quite predominant is the islamic art, perhaps a picture of pure calligraphy (not applied to a ceramic) is needed. If its unsuitable as the lead picture, then the picture in the calligraphy section should be changed because it only shows a little (if any) text. Alteaven (talk) 01:08, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
It just doesn't read well at small size. There is also another photo of the same building lower down. Johnbod (talk) 12:58, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
Okay. Then can I at least change the ceramic panel image from the calligraphy section? As I say, it doesn't show much. Alteaven (talk) 13:05, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
I think that's a very good photo - what it shows it show really well, and it ticks ceramics, architectural calligraphy and the eastern/Central Asian region as well as a characteristic colour range. Calligraphy on a page is very hard to communicate to the great majority of our readers, who can't read the script. Small details generally work better than large works, especially in crowded complex styles like this, as very few readers will click to expand the full image. Johnbod (talk) 13:12, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
I would not dispute that the photo is indeed good. However, I think that the photo is not suitable for the calligraphy section. There letters doesn't even form complete word or phrase, since the panel is broken in half. As so, the panel shows more about arabesque and less about calligraphy. Why not use one which is still in one piece? Like these:
Bear in mind that most of the readership here can't tell that "the letters don't even form a complete word or phrase"; it would be different in another language WP. I think the image shows very well at the small display size the relationship between letters and decoration, better than the examples below, which are too busy at a small size. Plus the other factors. One is also shown at Islamic calligraphy, & one tries not to repeat images across related articles where this can be avoided. The one on the right is rather late, with the decorative elements somewhat sloppy. By the way, Islamic calligraphy, which gets not many fewer views than this, seems pretty poor, and doesn't even have an image of Kufic script in the main text. I don't know enough about the subject to do much there, but it could certainly do with work. Johnbod (talk) 12:40, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

Oh, and thank you for putting my suggestion about the ardabil carpet. Alteaven (talk) 14:32, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

You're right. The article may need quite a number of improvements. I'll work on that instead.

But if I may add something regarding the picture here (again)... One would appreciate a painting better if they were given the full picture, similarly, a calligraphic piece would be better appreciated if it is whole. So regardless whether most reader can't read the text, the art would be better illustrated and appreciated if the piece is whole, and not mere fragment. But I see that keeping this image is more favoured. Perhaps another time, if satisfactory image becomes available in commons Alteaven (talk) 15:12, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

A study of Islamic painting[edit]

An interesting study here]. Dougweller (talk) 19:32, 15 April 2015 (UTC)]

This is a classic study of 1928, now massively out of date in many ways. We used to use it as a reference, maybe still do, but should only do so with caution: "Sir Thomas Walker Arnold (1864–1930) .....". For a long time there were very few books on the subject, but this has now not been the case for some decades. Johnbod (talk) 11:25, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Islamic art articles that need writing[edit]

People may have seen recent work on the Template:Islamic art which now perhaps reflects the field a little better. Its structure implies several articles which might be useful to readers, such as:

Other articles in the field that are needed (or need development) include (according to Johnbod):

Suggestions and contributions welcomed. Chiswick Chap (talk) 17:41, 16 December 2015 (UTC)


Is there an article somewhere on Mugal architecture in Pakistan? I'm trying to understand the architecture of the mosques (Masjid) there. e.g.

Badshahi Mosque

in Lahore. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kalbbes (talkcontribs) 22:58, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 4 external links on Islamic art. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required on behalf of editors regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification, as with any edit, using the archive tools per instructions below. This message updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 1 May 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 09:54, 17 November 2017 (UTC)