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Ch 13 Islamic Art and Architecture


Not so much political anymore

Based on religion
Al-Amin (born in Mecca and goes to Medina) became Muhammad and had
revelations and wrote them in the Koran, founded Islam religion
Kaaba big box used as a holy place for God (630)
Muhammad dies (632) and four caliphs take his place
Five Pillars
Only one god
Prayer (5 times toward Mecca)
Zakah (alms toward charity)
Sawm (fasting during Ramadan)
Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca)
Based on ANICONISM (avoidance of figural imagery)
Had ornate patterning and calligraphy and organic scrolling
(arabesque) as substitute for figures to deify Allah
Geometry based

Dome of the Rock Mosque

3rd most holy site of Islamic faith
most sacred place because Muhammad ascended to heaven
Jews and Christians believe it mightve been the site of Abraham and
Isaacs potential sacrifice or King Solomons palace
Extremely decorated unlike Christian symbolic exterior and interior
Islamic doesnt care as much of the passing
Just want to show the glory of their religion
mosaic, central plan, ambulatory (circumnavigate around the significant
rock), clerestory, Roman arches
Calligraphy is part of design or decoration from words from the Koran
Dome = vertical relation w/ God
Aniconism and Ornamentation exterior and interior, unlike Byzantine

Great Mosque

Cordoba, Spain
Parts: Prayer hall, Maqsura
Mosque = Congregation gathers to pray and worship
Hippostyle hall = numerous praying structures
No apse, somewhat of a nave, double arches, patterning of red and white, not
as formal as basilica, more open courtyard feeling

Wall that faces Mecca with niche called Mihrab with a dome above as rep. of
space = Qibla
Used to be a Christian space
Horse-shoe arch (Visigoth influence)
Able to expand, not as much meant for liturgy (more for prayer)
Dome: creates elevate space, mosaic dome, no figures, use of arabesque,
organic scrolling, and calligraphy
Maqsura: area in front of mihrab for speakers in congregations

Capital moved to Damascus from Mecca

The Great Mosque of Damascus

Damascus, Syria
Sculpture workers came in and did their mosaics
Colonnades, Roman influences and Early Christian and Byzantine influences

Alhambra Palace

Granada, Spain
Medium = red rock; Alhambra means red in Arabic
Court of Lions
12 lions to hold laver for water, which represents purity and cleanliness
before prayer
Arcades surround with horseshoe arches and multi-lobe arches
Muqarna = little niches that pile up to create a type of honeycomb
Muqarnas dome
Hall of the Two sisters
Rests on octagonal drum supported by squinches
5000 muqarnas
Cavernous yet protruding = irrationality of heaven

Congregational Mosque

11-18th century
Isfahan, Iran
Example of early architectural structures in Islamic art
Four iwan plan
Entrance = large niche
Smaller scale of honeycomb effect
Colors green, blues
Minarets = used to call to prayer
Qibla iwan would face Mecca

Mihrab from the Madrasa Imami

Isfahan, Iran
Glazed mosaic tilework
Specially created tiles to fit specific areas

Ottomans came into power about 2.5 centuries and were a great world power as
well as contributor to architecture.
Mosque of Selim II

Edirne, Turkey
1568 1575
By Sinan (contemp. of Michelangelo)
Inspired by Hagia Sophia
Has 4 minarets
Courtyard, cemetery, library, market
Central dome with clerestory
More semi-circular dome at the top with windows (larger dome space
than Hagia Sophia)
Tried to use 1:2 ratio and geometry when possible
Climax of ottoman architecture