How Did Islamic Art Influence The West?

How Did Islamic Art Influence The West? – Many people are unaware of the fact that Islamic art has had a significant influence on Western art.

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What is Islamic Art?

Islamic art is not a monolithic style, but includes a wide range ofVisual Arts that have been created in the geographical area that has historically been inhabited by Muslims, stretching from Spain and North Africa in the West to Central Asia and India in the East. Islamic Art is often characterized by an avoidance of figurative images representing living creatures, which is assumed to arise from religious proscriptions against idolatry.

A Brief History of Islamic Art

Islamic art is often recognized for its distinctive geometric patterns and calligraphy, but it is so much more than that. For centuries, Islamic artists created beautiful and intricate works of art that have had a profound influence on the cultures of the West.

Islamic art originated in the 7th century with the rise of the Islamic Caliphate. During this time, Muslim artists were influenced by the artistic traditions of Persia, Byzantium, and China. They created lavish objects in precious metals and jewels, as well as finely-woven textiles and elaborate architecture.

Over time, Islamic art spread throughout the Muslim world, from Spain to India. With each new culture it absorbed, Islamic art became more diverse and complex. By the 13th century, it had reached its golden age.

During the Renaissance, European artists began to rediscover and appreciate the beauty of Islamic art. They were especially fascinated by its intricate geometric patterns and Arabic calligraphy. This interest led to a wave of Orientalism in Western art, which culminated in the 19th century with works like Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’s famous painting “The Turkish Bath” (1862).

Today, Islamic art continues to be a source of inspiration for artists all over the world.

Characteristics of Islamic Art

Muslims believe that all art should glorify God, and therefore Islamic art is often characterized by its use of calligraphy, geometric patterns, and arabesque decoration. These elements can be found in a wide range of media, from ceramics and textiles to architecture and metalwork.

While Islamic art was initially developed within the Muslim world, it soon began to have a significant impact on the wider world. For example, the Arabesque style of decoration became popular in Europe during the Renaissance, while Islamic-inspired geometric patterns can be seen in the work of many modern artists.

The Influence of Islamic Art on the West

Islamic art had a profound influence on the development of Western art, beginning in the 8th century CE. The impact of Islamic artistic traditions can be seen in the Western world in architecture, painting, and other forms of art.

One of the most significant ways in which Islamic art influenced the West was in the field of architecture. The Muslim world was responsible for the development of many innovative architectural features, such as the pointed arch and ribbed vault. These features were later adopted by Gothic architects in Europe and helped to create some of the most iconic buildings in the world, such as Notre Dame Cathedral.

Islamic painters also had a significant impact on Western art. They developed a unique style of painting that made use of vivid colors and intricate patterns. This style was later adopted by European artists, who used it to create works of great beauty, such as the stained glass windows of cathedrals.

In general, Islamic art exerted a profound influence on the development of Western art, helping to create some of the most iconic works that we have today.

How Islamic Art has Influenced Western Art

Despite their differences, both Islamic and Western art have been influenced by each other. One of the most obvious ways that Islamic art has influenced Western art is in the use of calligraphy. Islamic artists were some of the first to use calligraphy as an art form, and this influence can be seen in Western art from the Middle Ages onwards. Another influence is in the use of geometry and patterns. Islamic artists were skilful in using geometric shapes to create intricate patterns, and this skill was admired by Western artists who began to incorporate these patterns into their own work.

More recently, Islamic art has been having something of a resurgence in popularity in the West. This is partly due to the increasing interest in cultural diversity, but it also reflects a growing appreciation for the beauty of Islamic art. Whether it is traditional calligraphy or contemporary abstractions, there is no doubt that Islamic art continues to exert a strong influence on Western art.

The Impact of Islamic Art on Western Culture

Islamic art had a significant impact on Western culture, beginning in the 8th century. Islamic artists created intricate and beautiful works of art, including mosaics, metalwork, and calligraphy. These works of art influenced Western artists, who began to incorporate Islamic elements into their own work.

Islamic art also had an impact on Western architecture. Many of the features we now associate with Islamic architecture, such as arches and domes, were actually borrowed from the West. However, Islamic architects added their own unique touches to these features, creating a style that was distinctively their own.

Over time, the influence of Islamic art on the West has diminished somewhat. However, its impact can still be seen in many aspects of Western culture today.

The Significance of Islamic Art in the Western World

As the world has become more interconnected, the influence of Islamic art has become more evident in the Western world. This can be seen in the proliferation of Islamic geometric patterns in architecture, fashion, and design. Westerners have also been influenced by the use of calligraphy and intricate floral patterns in Islamic art.

The impact of Islamic art on the West has been both direct and indirect. In some cases, Westerners have been exposed to Islamic art through travel and trade. In other cases, they have been influenced by artists who have been exposed to Islamic art and have incorporated elements of it into their own work.

Some of the most significant ways that Islamic art has influenced the West include:

1. The use of geometric patterns: Many Westerners are familiar withIslamic geometric patterns without realizing it. These patterns are often used in architecture, fabric design, and other forms of artwork.

2. The use of calligraphy: Calligraphy is an important element of Islamic art. In the West, calligraphy is often used for decorative purposes rather than functional ones. However, it is still possible to find examples of Western calligraphy that has been inspired by Islamic calligraphy.

3. The use of floral patterns: Floral patterns are another common elementof Islamic art. These patterns can be found in a variety of places, including rugs, fabric, and wallpaper.

4. The influence on Western artists: Many Western artists have been exposed toIslamic art through travel or study. As a result, they have incorporated elements of Islamic art into their own work.

The Legacy of Islamic Art in the West

Islamic art, all the artistic production in the lands where Muslim dynasties held sway and encompassing a wide range of influences, is often cited as one of the great legacy of the Muslim world. Indeed, it is now considered one of the cornerstones of world Art History. But how did this come to be? How did Islamic art influence Western art?

In this article, we will explore the legacy of Islamic art in the West, tracing its influencing from medieval Europe to the Renaissance and beyond. We will see how artists and intellectuals in Europe gradually came to appreciate and adopt elements of Islamic art into their own practices, producing works that would go on to have a profound impact on the development of Western art. So, let us begin by taking a closer look at the origins of Islamic art.

The Future of Islamic Art in the West

The future of Islamic Art in the West is shrouded in much uncertainty. The recent Islamist attacks in Paris and the rise of ISIS have put a spotlight on the Muslim world, and not in a good way. This has led to a growing anti-Muslim sentiment in the West, which is likely to have an impact on the reception of Islamic Art.

There is no doubt that Islamic Art has been influential in the West. Many Western artists have been influenced by Islamic art, including M. C. Escher, who was inspired by the tessellations used in Islamic mosaics. However, it is unclear to what extent this influence will continue in the future. With the increasing anti-Muslim sentiment in the West, it is possible that Islamic Art will become increasingly marginalized.


While there are many similarities between Islamic and Western art, there are also some notable differences. For example, Islamic art often features intricate patterns and geometric shapes, while Western art tends to be more representational. Ultimately, though, both traditions have influenced each other greatly and continue to do so today.

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