The Hidden Art of Islam

The Hidden Art of Islam

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Muslim belief and tradition specifies that there should be no depictions of God or the Prophet Muhammad. In religious contexts, this constraint on what artists can depict extends to human figures and other living creatures as well. These prohibitions have inspired a rich visual culture based on calligraphy, Arabesque floral designs, and geometry, all of which feature strongly in the art and design found throughout Islam.
ISBN: 9781608839858
Characteristics: video file,DVD video
1 videodisc (60 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.


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Dec 31, 2015

In my studies of Islamic culture I'm constantly reminded that what may be depicted as a singular homogeneous monolith by external sources is internally a dynamic, multi-faceted, ever-evolving body of beliefs, priorities, sensibilities...the young artists taking up the banner of sacred visual / spatial parameters, the incredibly articulate imams & academics in interview, all give insight to the exciting range of expression & nuance available to those who follow the faith & operate within its guidelines. One of the brief sequences around Mecca shows separate freeway exit signs for Muslims & non-Muslims, which I thought was hilarious, & as someone who will only ever be the latter, it can be sobering & maybe even a little frightening to encounter the austerity of the sacred in this context, & the seriousness of the various restrictions & taboos. But to have the conversation, respectfully, to learn, to see the humanity & the unique human values at play, is really a privilege. Wonderful film, highly recommended. CR

kevfarley Mar 06, 2015

Eye-opening and richly beautiful !!

Jul 18, 2014

For a documentary less than an hour, this is very informative. Islamic art is based on three principles: geometry, arabesque, and calligraphy. Sunni Muslims far more than Shia disdain human and animal representation in art but the royal courts did indulge in figurative art but it was flat, outlined, unshadow, un-contoured, and without perspective. This documentary really cleared up a lot questions that I had. The antique and contemporary illustrations they showed are absolutely gorgeous.


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