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Transcript of Sources
In recent years, Islam has moved forward including more modern and contemporary forms of art based in the Middle East.
Arabic writing continues to be the most traditional and most seen form of Islamic art. The writings are a form of cultural identity as well as religious symbols.
Early Islamic Period
Although little is known about material culture in Arabia at the time of the Islamic conquests, the Byzantine and Sasanian lands began their own indigenous artistic traditions.
This Sasanian work of art has characteristics of this transitional period. It’s a stucco relief plaque, depicting a king hunting on horseback, from a small palace in northern Iran, datable to the end of the seventh or the first half of the eighth century.
This type of art reflects their cultural values, their view on spiritual realms, the universe, life, and the relationship between the parts to the whole.
Because of the strict rules against human and animals that might result in idol-worship, Islamic art developed a new character. This was a mixture of geometric, arabesque, floral, and calligraphic shapes.
Late Medieval Period
The Mongolian invasions in the mid-thirteenth century brought a new style of art that spread through Islamic lands.
Manuscript illustration became an influential and significant forum for courtly patronage.
These four star-and-cross tiles demonstrate the new taste and the new technique, known as lajvardina, whose distinctive blue color evokes its namesake, lajvard.