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Art History Ch. 10
Questions Quiz Islamic World
Terms in this set (8)
1. What does Islam mean? When did it start? Who founded it? What is the name of its god? What are its followers called?
Islam means acceptance and submission to God's will, and therefore, Muslims must live according to the rules Mohammed communicated during his lifetime (in Arabic it translates to "submission to the one God"). Islam began in Arabia in the early 7th century and was founded by the Prophet Muhammad. Similar to the Christian and Jewish faith, Muslims, followers of Islam, believe in one God, Allah, but worship Him directly as opposed to a hierarchy of religious intermediaries. (page 283-285)
2. What is the Koran?
The Koran is Islam's sacred book, codified by the Muslim ruler Uthman, which records Mohammad's revelations. It literally means "recitations", a reference to Gabriel's instructions to Mohammad to "recite in the name of God". The Koran is composed of 114 surahs which are divided into verses. (page 285)
3. What are the five obligations of the faithful of Islam?
The first obligation is the profession of faith in the one God, Allah. The other obligations are to worship five times daily facing Mecca, give alms to the poor, fast during the month of Ramadan, and, if possible, make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime.
4. Where is the Dome of the Rock? Why is the rock commemorated? Why is it a site of conflict today? What kind of form is the Dome of the Rock? What does the interior resemble?
The Dome of the Rock is in Jerusalem. It was commemorated by caliph Abd-al-Malik as a tribute to the triumph of Islam, marking the city that was sacred to Jews and Christians. It is a site of conflict today because it rests on a spot that is sacred to Muslims because it is where Muhammad journeyed to heaven, but is also said to be the sight of Adam's grave and where Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac, which are sacred to Christians and Jews. It has a domed central plan form. The interior resembles the octagonal San Vitale in Ravenna.
5. The Arab proverb, "Purity of writing is purity of soul," describes calligraphy within the Islam world. Briefly explain the phrase, "Purity of writing" in terms of Islamic art.
In the Islamic World, calligraphy held a place of honor. Calligraphy is based on Arabic script and varies in form depending on the period and region in which it is produced. Calligraphy is considered to be the highest art form in the Islamic world; therefore, calligraphers were the most respected artists. The Muslim people would write the words of the Koran in calligraphy and recreate the passages on walls of buildings. One example would be inside the Dome of the Rock. Calligraphy itself was a holy task and required difficult training. The writing had to be pure when pertaining to such important things as the Islamic faith. Calligraphy was used for religious writings in sacred places of worship, was a highly regarded art form, and usually followed the five Pillars of Islam
6. What were the three types of patterning found in Islamic art? Explain the characteristic of each type.
The three types of patterning found in Islamic art are Arabesque, Geometric, and Calligraphy. Arabesque patterning usually has characteristics like acanthus and split leaves, scrolling vines, spirals, wheels, and zigzags. Geometric patterning demonstrates the Islamic belief that there is unity in the multiplication of certain ideas. Calligraphy pattering is more specialized and comes in many scripts including Kufic. The style is really ornamental and is difficult for the average reader to decipher. The writing is written from right to left. Calligraphy is the script of the Koran.
7. Describe and explain the interior of the mosque (the prayer hall and the dome of the mihrab) of Cordoba.Describe how the Great Mosque of Cordoba had an impact on the West.
The interior of this mosque at Cordoba is known as one of the jewels of the Spanish Umayyads' dynasty, and is one of the largest mosques in the Islamic West. It includes a hypostyle prayer hall with 36 piers, 514 columns, and has a system of double-tiered arches that held a wooden roof that was later replaced by vaults. This was a response to the need for a higher roof, and the two-story system used short columns that were previously used in other structures. The arches arehorse shoe shaped, which became a staple in Islamic art, and also contribute to the airy effect of the mosque and the light that comes into the building. Also added to the building was a dome that covered the area in front of the mihrab. There were 4 domes built to emphasize the mihrab and consists of an octagon base and squinches. It forms an intricate pattern and has mosaics to provide a very decorative element to the dome and give the mosque a magnificent effect. The Great Mosque of Cordoba had a very significant impact on the West as well.One huge advancement is the presence of the horseshoe arch. The arch quickly became associated with Muslim architecture. These arches contribute to the light effect of the mosque in Cordoba. The Great Mosque is also an example of Islamic use of multilobed arches. These arches helped create rich patterns and contributed to the massive effect of the arches.
8. How does the label, "Sinan the Great," describe the architect and his work?
Sinan was known as the most famous Ottoman architect under Suleyman the Magnificent (one of the greatest sultans), and is credited with perfecting the ottoman architectural style. He was born a Christian, but converted to Islam and became entrusted with great responsibility in architecture after completing work for the sultan. He is known for building hundreds of projects, both sacred and secular, but his most famous is the Edirne mosque. He wanted to surpass all of his achievements with this mosque and wanted it to outshine any other Byzantine and Christian structure. It also represents his lifelong search for the perfect monument, and shows his studies in the ratios used for the height, width, and masses. He searched for solutions to past problems of previous Ottoman architects of unifying the additive elements and of creating a great centralized space with harmonious proportions, which he completed in this building; proudly proclaiming it his masterpiece.
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