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Art and art historical terms of Islam


The fascination with middle eastern cultures


A type of linear surface decoration based on foliage


handwriting as an artform

Kufic Script

An ornamental, angular, Arabic script. The Qu'ran was originally written in Kufic.


The book of Islam written by Mohammed that borrows from the Old Testament, and the gospels


Islamic building for collective worship, from the arabic word masjid - meaning "place for bowing down"

Hypostyle Hall Mosque

Also called an arab-plan mosque, the oldest form of mosque, has interior courtyard, flat roof, many collumned interior (hypostyle), outer arcade


A large, decorative, arched, entrance to a mosque

Four-Iwan Mosque

The second oldest form of mosque with a central couryard with four iwans on it.

Central-Plan Mosque

The latest form of mosque. Mosque with a central plan - often with a dome from Byzantine influence - started with the Ottomans (Turks)


A courtyard in Islamic architecture


The mosque wall oriented toward Mecca. The Qibla wall is indicated by the Mirhab


A recess or niche in the Quibla wall that represents a door to Mecca


A tower on or near a mosque from which the faithful are called to prayer 5 times a day


An Islamic institution of higher learning where teaching focuses on theology and law

Ogival arch

A pointed arch used first by pre Islamic middle easterners & extensively in Islamic art & in gothic architecture


small niche like components stacked in tiers to fill the transition between differing verical and horizontal planes

Abd al-Rahman I (dates)

founder and ruler of the Umayyad dynasty in Iberia, 755 - 788

Dome of the Rock

687-91, Jerusalem, Israel, Islamic

Prayer hall, Great Mosque, Cordoba

785, Cordoba, Spain, Islamic

Taj Mahal

1631-48, Agra, India, Islamic

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