Art in Early Islamic World

The vast geographical region and diverse range of civilizations that made up the Islamic Empire are reflected in the great diversity of forms and styles found in the art produced there. Below, we go over some of the most well-known characteristics of Islamic art.


Islamic art has a distinctive style in many areas. Islamic artists frequently used a variety of elaborate designs and patterns rather than using animals or people in their designs. The Islamic religion had a direct impact on the art through this practise. Artists believed that depicting depictions of people and animals could lead to idolatry—the worship of objects other than Allah.

Arabesque is a style that Islamic artists frequently employ. Arabesque makes use of elaborate floral and leaf designs. These designs were frequently used in fabrics, books with decorations, stone reliefs on buildings, and wooden carvings.

Islamic designers often included beautiful writing known as “calligraphy” and geometric patterns known as “tessellation” into their creations.


Ceramics was a significant aspect of Islamic art. Ceramic glazes and styles by early Islamic painters range widely. While some developed their own distinctive techniques for glazing ceramics, others were influenced by Chinese porcelain. Ceramic tiles were also used by Islamic artisans to create stunning works of art in addition to lovely ceramics. These tiles were occasionally used to decorate religious buildings’ outside walls or the whole thing with vibrant patterns and designs.


The carpet was one of the most useful examples of Islamic art. Although carpets were frequently used as wall hangings, prayer mats, floor coverings, and cushions, they were also stunning works of art. These carpets frequently featured arabesque or colourful geometric repeat patterns. They developed into a significant export from the Arab realm to other continents, particularly Europe.


Complex carvings were another well-liked kind of art. They incorporated the same geometric and arabesque designs found in other Islamic art. Wood was frequently used for carving, although other materials like ivory, stone, and plaster were also used. They were used to adorn the ceiling, doors, and wall panels of significant buildings like mosques. Stands for the Quran, the holy book of Islam, were frequently works of art made of wood.


“Miniature painting” was the most widely used style of painting in the early Islamic world. These miniature paintings were included in decorative books known as “illuminated manuscripts.” These paintings stood apart from other works of Islamic art because they frequently featured images of both people and animals. This was as a result of the scenes being taken from the book’s stories.


In Islamic art, calligraphy—or decorative writing—was quite common. Often, calligraphy was used to make designs. The writing would frequently be a religious proverb or verse from the Quran. It was common to see calligraphy blended with arabesque and geometric motifs.

Interesting Information about Islamic Golden Age Art

Battle-related weapons were occasionally adorned with calligraphy or designs.

Glass and metal were other media used by Islamic painters.

As the Islamic kingdom grew, the fashion and patterns utilised in Islamic art were widely adopted.

In mosques, the minbar, which serves as the leader of the prayers, is frequently adorned with intricate carvings.

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