What people often want to see are the pictures of cool things I take photos of! Here are some more!
For those who are unaware? I spent the last week under the knife. My wisdom teeth hadn’t erupted and had gotten infected. The infection had spread to my jaw which was reconstructed and the chain had to be replaced. In short? I was in a lot of pain and needed surgical removal of infected teeth and the chain used in reconstruction of my jaw.
Which is why the blog hasn’t been updated. I however had an opportunity to try and put some more photos up. [Read more…]
Science is everything, art can help us understand that. Avicenna mentioned to me the other week about finding ways to teach science through art, and I thought it was a great idea. Because it caters to a wider number of people, particularly kids. Kids are important because they are our future; our engineers, teachers, musicians, politicians and voters. [Read more…]
The traditional guise of islam that we are familiar with is from the middle east where such “frivolities” were eschewed, instead decoration consisted of geometrical pattern and calligraphy. Calligraphy and geometrical patterns were taken to incredible levels and to this day most of the middle east prefers calligraphy as their preferred mode of expression of art. Even the simplest of korans is printed in beautiful script and most homes have phrases from the koran worked into intricate patterns by the human hand. The same effort that went into the paintings of churches has gone into the writing of these phrases.
Young men personalise their number plates and sides of cars with calligraphy and abstract shape rather than pictures. The aesthete continues just applied into new situations. The product of writing Korans is now used to adorn the sides of buildings and beautify plazas.
However there were two big muslim cultures who were famed for their art. The Ottomans and the Mughals. The Mughal invasion of India was done by dour and harsh Babur whose stance on Islam was strong and rigid, yet in just two generations Akbar (his grandson) was born. Akbar was less dour but just as capable a ruler and he was famed for his patronage of miniature paintings, which was an Indian art style.
These were intricately detailed paintings of daily life. Like the early predecessor of photographs. The one on the left showing him meeting an early jesuit mission to India. (the two men in blue are christian monks).
Akbar was extremely multicultural and progressive as soverign emperors go. He is remembered relatively well. His tomb is filled with actual sculpture of flowers and animals unlike that of his grandfather who was a dour man or his father who was regarded as a weak emperor. Akbar’s love of art was continued through his son and grandson (Shah Jahan, he of Taj Mahal fame). However religious extremism of Aurangzeb began to sow the seeds of destruction of the Mughal empire (by alienating the standing armies of Kshatriya who formed the armies and generals of the mughal empire).
The influence of these paintings is best seen in Persia and in the Ottoman empire where illustrated Korans exist. (Or did exist). A few collections of paintings still exist and for your perusal this Draw Mohammed Day, I give to you examples of Mohammed drawn by muslim artists from various cultures.
|The Remaining Signs of Past Centuries, by Al-Buruni.
The prophet gives his final sermon on mount Ararat (near Mecca)
|Algerian Postcard 1930s
Prophet hiding in a cave during his flight from Mecca
|The First Revelation of the Angel Gabriel
From Jami Al-Tawarikh by Rashid al-Din
Persia 1307 AD
|Prophet lifting the Black Stone into the Al-Kabah
From Jami Al-Tawarikh by Rashid al-Din
|The prophet in Paradise on his horse Buraq with the angel Gabriel
From Miraj Nama, 15th century afghanistan (Mughal minature)
(Oh yes Samarkhand was once one of the most famous centres for art!)
|The Prophet meets Ismail, Ishak (Issac) and Lot
14th century Herat, Afghanistan
|The assassination of Ali (Mohammed is veiled)
17th century, Iman Zadah Chah Zaid Mosque