Islamic art, the One and the Other

It is no coincidence that the arabesque responds to a penchant for the West, which introduced it into European art from the Renaissance. To such an extent that monographs of God in Kufic characters sometimes decorate Christian religious sites: one reads on the portal of the cathedral of Puy and a lintel of the old church of Lamalou-Les-Bains, in France. And in Pisa, Italy, there is a 14th-century painting depicting Mary, whose halo of holiness is underlined internally by the first formula of shahada (11), which would have been confused until the beginning of the 20th century. with simple flourishes. It is because the geometrical figure allows any projection of the imaginary, as, moreover, an unknown writing perceived as a simple drawing.

Different forms of writing

Thus abstraction (12) offers Muslim Art a universal dimension corresponding to the spirituality of Islam, which itself will slip unknowingly into other cultures. Georges a. Bertrand can then write that “the Arab-Muslim culture has been integrated for centuries in the French heritage,” and that its traces are discovered in the ornaments, sculptures, arabesques, and intertwining of churches, but also in everyday objects, clothes, musical instruments, without forgetting the French language (13).

The photos are all taken from The Art of Islam, by Giovanni Curatello, except the calligraphy of the name of the prophet Muhammad (extracted from the translation essay of the Koran by Jacques Berque), and two photographs taken from Arts et Traditions du Morocco (ACR): the photo of Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, and that of Zemmour embroidery (the region of Azemmour near El Jadida)