“Painting is the grandchild of nature. It is related to God.” – Rembrandt
Rembrandt painted his relationship to God through portraits and illustration of Biblical scenes to incorporate spirituality in his art work. Art is the expression of ideas through painting and this is where the master artisan from the golden period of Islamic history took a different course and with great mastery gave birth to the aesthetics of Islamic Art as we know today.
Islamic Art is a broad subject that includes everything from calligraphy, stucco design, geometric shapes, floral patterns and architecture etc. This art was born out of the need to reflect the spiritual and reflective nature of the religion to reinforce the awareness of God through new forms of aesthetics. These new aesthetics had to be free from any portrayal of animate objects which possessed a soul in accordance with the Prophetic Tradition which prohibited portrayal of anything that possessed a soul.
This led to the Islamic art developing its own form of expressions yet utilising the old techniques of the Persian and Byzantine cultures and developing new ones with the time. As Islam spread its influence, Islamic art became more and more diverse and dynamic by adopting the new forms of artistic expressions in various parts of the world. For Muslims all forms of Islamic Art is a means to attain closeness to the divine nature of God by contemplating on the beauty of art itself.
At the centre of the origin of Islamic Art is the fascination with the written word which is down to two factors. First, being that the Arab people were masters of oratory skills and were unaware of the power of the written word that had deep and profound impact on their society after the revelation of The Holy Qur’an. Secondly, when the Qur’an was revealed and written its divine message had profound impact on the society and this expression of its appreciation was shown in all aspects of society. In Islamic Art this was expressed in Arabic calligraphy which became the adornment of the courts of caliphs and wazirs. This did not exclude scholars and theologians whose timeless literature was composed elaborately in Arabic calligraphy with great attention.
Sohail Khan works for Islamic Impressions which specialises in retail and wholesale products for the Islamic market and stocks a wide range of Islamic art, frames and other beautiful pieces to view online or in our stores in London, Birmingham, Denmark and Trinidad.