The arts and crafts of the Islamic world are many and are replete with wonder, considering the fact that they span many epochs and territories, and include a large variety of handicrafts and artworks. Thus, if are looking for the best Islamic art and craft specimens, you would find many. A simple internet search would throw up a range of results –calligraphic wall art, carpets, glass works, brass ware, ceramic pottery and what not!
A lot has been recorded about Islamic arts and crafts. Here we narrow down for you a few arts and crafts to help you decide which one you want for your home.
1. Calligraphy: Arabic calligraphy is the mainstay of Islamic art – an unparalleled combination of religion and art. Even though Arabic was the lingua franca in the Arabian Peninsula before Islam was established as its primary religion in the 7th century AD, Arabic calligraphy really got a head start because of Islam. Because of the need to compile the Quran in the form of a book, and ban on human and animal imagery, all the focus was diverted towards developing Arabic calligraphy. Calligraphers began writing the verses of the Glorious Quran in varied styles – fulfilling both a religious purpose and contributing to the visual arts scene in the Islamic world. The walls and domes of Islamic monuments are adorned with Arabic calligraphy which is now a very sophisticated art form.
2. Miniature paintings: These small paper paintings, compiled in an album called ‘muraqqa’, originated in 13th century Iran and later being used in Turkey under the Ottomonempire, and in India under the Mughal empire. As they had a primarily non-religious function (they were used in court) and were not displayed in public, restrictions on human and animal figures were often waived for them.
3. Rugs and carpets: Carpet-weaving is a traditional occupation and a major industry that generates a lot of employment in Turkey, Iran, Central and South Asia. It scores only next to calligraphy in terms of visibility the field of Islamic art. When adorned with Islamic calligraphy, carpets become wall art. Sans calligraphy, they are used to cover floors or make prayer mats. They are highly ornate, intricately filled with floral patterns and elaborate borders.
4. Ceramic pottery: Colourful ceramic plates and pots are dainty crafts that can be placed on the shelf. Plates can be fixed to the walls too. The earliest pottery dates to 8th century Basra though Chinese influence played a big role after the 13th century Mongol raids. Most pottery made in Muslim countries has a lot of blue and green. Some ceramic plates are decorated with calligraphy, others only with floral motifs.
5. Brass ware: Brass plates and pots, especially those made in India, are pretty handicrafts that one can place on their tables or nail to their walls. They generally come with dense, colourful floral patterns.
Obviously, volumes can be written on the arts and crafts of the Islamic world. So, it would be no surprise if searching for best Islamic art and craft has added to your confusion.