Art of the Islamic world covers a vast range of objects beyond traditional modes of sculpture and pottery… from ceramics and glass to painting and textile. Influenced by its pre-Islamic territories, along with Roman and Byzantine art, Islamic art flourished at the beginning of the 8th century AD and continued well into the modern period. Notable divisions in style and era come from a variety of dynastic periods and empires, including but not limited to the Umayyad, Abbasid, Ghaznavid, Seljuk, Ottoman, Mughal, and Safavid empires. Islamic Art is perhaps most commonly known for utilizing geometry and line to create highly intricate floral and vegetal pattern designs, referred to as arabesque, which reflect God’s infinite nature. The dizzying depiction of natural elements and complex patterns in place of the generic figure is distinctive to Islamic art and creates a wonderfully unique aesthetic foundation from which a myriad of forms magically spring. Without ever having to literally reference the human form or the figure of God himself, Islamic art generates an aura of divine presence and profound spiritual power in a way no other art form can.
Through the utilization of precise line work, unfathomable intricacy, and endless layers of complex elements Islamic art encapsulates a living, breathing vision of the cosmos in its most fundamental form. While the inclusion of calligraphic script that is as much art as it is a written language, brings a whole new dimension of exquisitely captivating, symbolic spiritual energy to each piece it graces. In this manner, Islamic art, mystically conveys an alluring tension between grace and elegance and depth and sensuality. The Barakat Gallery proudly holds some of the world’s finest Islamic artifacts from unparalleled metalwork in bronze, to a pair of distinctive coverings of the Kaaba, to stunning examples of Mamluk glass. We encourage you to explore the pages that follow to enter a magical world of art from a bygone era.