Frequent use of geometric patterns

Islamic decoration, which tends to avoid using figurative images, makes frequent use of geometric patterns which have developed over the centuries. The reason why Islamic art does not use figurative images is to avoid them becoming objects of worship.

Repeated squares and circles

The geometric designs in Islamic art are often built on combinations of repeated squares and circles, which may be overlapped to form intricate and complex patterns.

The complexity and variety of patterns used evolved from simple stars through a variety of 6- to 13-point patterns.

Geometric patterns occur in a variety of forms in Islamic art and architecture i.e. kilim carpets, Moroccan tiles, decorative vaulting,  stained glass, woodwork and metalwork.

Interest in Islamic geometric patterns is increasing in the West, both among craftsmen and artists including M.C, Escher.

A bridge to the spiritual realm

In Islamic culture, the patterns are believed to be the bridge to the spiritual realm, the instrument to purify the mind and the soul. David Wade states that, “Much of the art of Islam, whether in architecture, ceramics, textiles or books, is the art of decoration – which is to say, of transformation.” He also argues that the aim is to transfigure, turning mosques “into lightness and pattern”, while “the decorated pages of a Qur’an can become windows onto the infinite.”

Watch this informative video to learn more about the geometry of Islamic Design.

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