The Beauty of Patterns in Islamic Art

October 20, 2018

The Beauty of Patterns in Islamic Art

Those familiar with Islamic art will already know about the use of patterns in many pieces. Much of this art focuses on using shapes to create stunning patterns. The idea behind this stems from the desire to celebrate God in art over celebrating the human form.

These patterns show creativity without glorifying people.

The Basic Concepts

Islamic art often combines squares and circles to great effect. Just take a look at the pieces available at Asheeq. You’ll see pieces that make use of all sorts of different shapes. Often, the artist interlaces these shapes to create complex and interesting patterns.

You’ll also note the heavy use of patterns in the art.

Shapes and structures often get repeated, especially in more complex pieces. This repetition does not take away from the creativity of the piece. Instead, it highlights the intricate nature. A great artist can create a stunning piece of art using the most basic shapes and patterns.

The use of these patterns also vary depending on the artist.

Some place them front and centre in the piece. The pattern often is the piece and is the main point of focus.

Yet others use them to enhance a piece. It’s not uncommon for patterned borders to line floral artwork or calligraphy. You may also see these patterns in the backgrounds of pieces.

The Evolution of Patterns

Islamic art didn’t always feature such complex patterns. In fact, early pieces used a lot of stars and lozenges to get their points across.

As the years progressed, so too did the complexity of the patterns used. By the 13th century those stars had started to gain more points. It was not uncommon to see a 13-point star in a piece. The artist would then build the rest of the piece around it. Today, we see many other types of shapes in the art. It’s this evolution in pattern making that has played a large part in Islamic art’s continuing influence to this day.

In fact, such artwork also influenced Western artists. M.C Escher, who famously created mind-bending work that messed with the viewer’s perceptions, cited Islamic art as a source of inspiration.

You’ll also see patterns in Islamic architecture. Geometry is a heavy part of metal and woodwork. Leather and ceramics often make use of this patterns, plus they often used in stained glasswork.

It’s beauty from simplicity in its truest form. Each shape has a meaning that goes beyond the human. For example, the circles used in these patterns is a symbol for natural diversity and unity.

The Final Word

In the end, every person can take something different from our art. For some, the patterns may just be something attractive to hang in the home. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. This beauty is one of the most important things about the use of patterns in our art.

Others may find deeper and more spiritual meanings in the patterns. You can get lost for hours just staring at a pattern.

Asheeq hopes to inspire you with our work in whatever way we can.

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