Islamic art is an umbrella term created by nineteenth century art historians to categorise and describe the material first produced by people who lived within the territory that was ruled by culturally Islamic populations that came from Arabia in the seventh century.
In other words, the term “Islamic art” defines art that were created in the areas where Islam was the dominant religion. Contrary to the terms “Christian art” or “Buddhist art”, the term “Islamic art” is not used only to describe religious art, but applies to all art forms produced in the Islamic world. Furthermore, Islamic art can be produced by any type of medium: calligraphy, painting, pottery, and textile arts such as embroidery and carpets.
Detailed calligraphy, mosaic and handwriting are all characteristics of Islamic art, and it often features patterns of curving vines or intricate flowers. The majority of Islamic art also incorporates unique delicate details and decorations.
A Unique Artistic Language
As it is not only a religion but a way of life, Islam cultivated the development of a unique culture with its own artistic language that can be seen in art throughout the Muslim world.
It is quite a difficult art to define because it covers many areas and various people over more than 1400 years; From the start, the direction of Islamic art was predominantly determined by political structures which cut across geographical and sociological boundaries.
Today the specifications of Islamic art, as defined by museums, galleries, and collectors, have developed to include contemporary work by artists with roots in the Middle East. These new artists are influenced by their own cultural traditions, only using techniques and ideas from earlier periods. They are not so much reinventing Islamic art as they are repurposing it so that it becomes more clearly a medium for personal, unrestricted expression.