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Module 9 - Essay Example

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What is the arabesque style and why did it develop throughout the Islamic world? Arabesque (meaning “Arab-like) is a fundamental ornament used in Islamic art which, nevertheless, developed long before the coming of Islam. It is comprised of ‘surface decorations based on rhythmic linear patterns of scrolling and interlacing foliage and tendrils’ (Fleming & Honour, 1977)…
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Module 9

Download file to see previous pages... The plants often used in these designs are stylized versions of the acanthus, with emphasis on the leafy forms, the vine, and the twining stems. It is claimed that arabesque is used for its theological significance, but there are no documents validating this, probably because of the ancient origins of the design. The intricacy of the arabesque reflects the Islamic world view: the repetitive, mathematically precise patterns of foliage and geometric designs signify infinity that extends beyond the visible material world. Its infinite patterns symbolize the perfect nature of the creation of the one God (Arabesque, 2007). The mathematical and exacting complexity of the design creates a visual appeal that may be read within the context of the philosophical, theological and political discourses on God’s nature and that of the universe (Campo, 2009). There are some writers, however, who are convinced that since the Arabesque style preceded Islam, its value in Islamic architecture and art are little more than ornamental, with little implication on the Islamic world view (Brill, 1987). References Arabesque (23 January 2007) ‘The meaning of Arabesque’. Retrieved 15 October 2012 from http://arabesqueflair.blogspot.com/2007/01/arabesque-is-element-of-islamic-art.html Brill, E.J. (1987) Brill’s First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936. ...
wiki/File:Sheikh_Lotf_Allah_Mosque.jpg Video Review: Arabic Architecture Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGZAuMJqYag The video on Arabic Architecture did not have any narrative, but provided a unique experience with breathtaking sites and exotic music. The video showed scenes of Islamic mosques and their surrounding courtyards, characterized by domes and minarets. The arabesque inlays in the panels and ceilings complemented the repeating arches that capture a geometric exactness that conveyed infinite perfection. The majesty of the architecture was well highlighted in the grand structures and rich artwork. More surprisingly, however, the same exotic architecture was shown in the common areas such as sidewalks where vendors sell their wares and pedestrians hurry about their business. In these places, the colors may be a bit more worn, nevertheless the hint of grandeur remains in the form of arches and arabesque designs in the ceilings and posts. Many of the mosques and palatial structures are reportedly from as early as the 8th century, a testament to the longevity and universality of the artwork as well as the durability of the structure. However, included in the video are pictures of the more modern buildings such as Malaysia’s Petronas Twin Towers. Looking every inch the modern high rise building that it is, the cross-sectional design of the towers make use of the geometric patterns used in the more ancient Islamic architectural works. In many of the buildings, a clear continuity with the surrounding natural environment helps to enhance the beauty of the buildings at night as well as during the day. Locating the structure over or close to a body of water allows for the reflection to extend the image and underscore the repetitiveness and continuity of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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