Islamic Geometricism

The images presented here are taken from patterninislamicart.com, a website that largely consists of images from my own photo archive, which are themselves the fruits of a whole series of trips to different parts of the Islamic world.

I feel that this marvellous artistic tradition deserves to be better known and that it has a great deal to offer, not only to art-historians and other specialists, but to designers and lovers of art and beauty everywhere. At its best this art-form expresses a refined and even sublime aesthetic sensibility, but manages to remain perfectly accessible.

Because of this, Islamic pattern seems to me to offer a particularly appropriate antidote to the fears and suspicions that may have been induced by recent notions of a ‘clash of civilisations’. The need to express and appreciate Beauty, through Art, is surely a universal human response.

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Ceramic mosaic; Madrassa-yi-Madar-i-Shah, Isfahan, Iran

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Carved and inlaid door (detail); Mosque of al-Mu’ayyid, Cairo, Egypt

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Ceramic mosaic panel; Bou Inaniya Medersa, Fez, Morocco

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Polychrome stone inlay panels; Akbar’s tomb, Siikandra,India

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Detail of painted ceiling panel; Bolo-Khauz Mosque, Bukhara, Uzbeghistan

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Detail of wooden Minbar; Mosque of al-Mu’ayyad, Cairo, Egypt

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Detail of marble inlay; Tomb of Itimud ad-Daula, Agra, India

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Ceramic mosaic panel; Alhambra Palace, Grenada, Spain

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Detail of door panel; Sahib Alta Mosque, Konya, Turkey

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Polychrome Marble inlay panel; Mosque of Ak Sounqur, Cairo, Egypt

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Decorative brickwork; Royal Mosque, Qazvin, Iran

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Ceramic mosaic panel; Alhambra Palace, Grenada, Spain

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Inlaid ceramic (Kashi) panel; Gur Amir Mausoleum, Samarkand, Uzbeghistan

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Ceramic mosaic panel; Fez, Morocco

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Ceramic mosaic panel; Fatima’s Haram, Qum, Iran

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Page from Les Elements de l’Arte Arabe; Joules Bourgoin, Paris, 1879

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Pierced stonework window; Alai Darwaza, Delhi, India

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Openwork window with ceramic inlay; Kukultesh Medressa, Bukhara, Uzbeghistan

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Polychrome marble inlay Mihrab; Gurriya Madrassa, Cairo, Egypt

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Ceramic mosaic panels; Medersa Ben Youssef, Marrakesh, Morocco

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Page from Les Elements de l’Arte Arabe; Joules Bourgoin, Paris, 1879

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Carved stone panel; al-Ahzar Mosque, Cairo, Egypt

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Polychrome stone inlay panels; Akbar’s Tomb; Sikandra, India

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Ceramic mosaic panel (detail); Saadian Tombs, Marrakesh, Morocco

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Ceramic mosaic panel (detail); Alhambra Palace, Grenada, Spain

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Openwork sandstone screen; Fatepur Sikri complex, India

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Marble inlay Mihrab; Madrassa al-Faradis, Aleppo, Syria

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Page from Les Elements de l’Arte Arabe; Joules Bourgoin, Paris, 1879

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Detail of door panel; Shehzade Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

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Ceramic mosaic panels; Isfahan, Iran

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Carved stone panel; Alay Han, Aksaray/Kayseri road, Turkey

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Ceramic mosaic panel; Sefferine Medersa, Fez, Morocco

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Page from The Grammar of Ornament, Owen Jones, London, 1856

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Marble inlay panels and pierced screens; Tomb of Itimud ad-Daula, Agra, India

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Ceramic mosaic panel; Moulay Idris Mosque, Fez, Morocco

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Detail of Minaret brickwork; Hama Mosque, Hama, Syria

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Page from Les Elements de l’Arte Arabe; Joules Bourgoin, Paris, 1879

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Ceramic mosaic panel; Madrassa-yi-Madar-i-Shah, Isfahan, Iran

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Ceramic mosaic panel; Alcazar, Seville, Spain

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Carved stone panel; Sultan Han, Akseray/Konya road, Turkey

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Openwork window with ceramic inlay; Bukhara, Uzbeghistan

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Marble inlay Mihrab; Bahramiye Mosque, Aleppo, Syria

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Polychrome marble panel; Mosque of Sultan Hassan, Cairo, Egypt

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Marble inlay panel; Great Mosque, Damascus, Syria

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Detail of carved stonework; Hatuniye Complex, Kayseri, Turkey

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Page from The Grammar of Ornament, Owen Jones, London, 1856

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Painted ceiling panel; Moulay Idris Mosque, Fez, Morocco

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Painted panel above doorway; Sulimye Mosque, Edirne, Turkey

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Brick and painted stucco decoration; Mausoleum of Sultan Oljeitu, Sultaniya, Iran

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Page from The Grammar of Ornament, Owen Jones, London, 1856

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Ceramic mosaic panel (detail); Alhambra Palace, Grenada, Spain

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Dome interior (ceramic mosaic); Karatay Medrese, Konya, Turkey

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Dome interior; Tillya-Kari Medressa, Registan Complex, Samarkand, Uzbeghistan

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Carved and inlaid door; Wakalut of al-Gour, Cairo, Egypt

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Openwork window with ceramic inlay; Kukultesh Medressa, Bukhara, Uzbeghistan

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Painted ceiling panel; Tomb of Moulay Ishmael, Meknes, Morocco

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Stucco ceiling panel; Alhambra Palace, Grenada, Spain

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Detail of carved and inlaid wooden Minbar; Mosque of Qaitbay, Cairo, Egypt

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Detail of carved window shutter; Mausoleum of Shezade Mehmed, Istanbul, Turkey

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Detail of ceramic mosaic panel; Alhambra Palace, Grenada, Spain

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Ceramic mosaic panel; Bukhara, Uzbeghistan

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Marble paving; Mosque of Barquq, Cairo, Egypt

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Pierced marble screen; Tomb of Salim Chisti, Fatepur Sikri, India

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Ceramic mosaic panels; al-Hakim Mosque, Isfahan, Iran

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Ceramic mosaic panel; Alhambra Palace, Grenada, Spain

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Ceramic mosaic panels; Karatay Medrese, Konya, Turkey

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Panel with incised ceramic tiles; Shah-i-Zindeh Complex, Samarkand, Uzbeghistan

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Detail of ceramic mosaic muquarnas; Aramgah-e-Baba Qasem, Isfahan, Iran

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Stucco wall panel; Alhambra Palace, Grenada, Spain

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Detail of ceramic mosaic muquarnas; Aramgar-e-Baba Qasem, Isfahan, Iran

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Ceramic mosaic & stucco panels, painted door; Mosque of Moulay Idris, Fez, Morocco

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Ceramic mosaic panel; Alhambra Palace, Grenada, Spain

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Tile and glazed brick panels; Shah-i-Zindah Complex, Samarkand, Uzbeghistan

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Pierced stone window; Great Mosque, Damascus, Syria

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Marble inlay panels of Mihrab; Great Mosque, Damascus, Syria

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Polychrome Marble inlay pattern; Damascus, Syria

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Glazed brick and ceramic mosaic panels; Ulugh Beg Medressa, Samarkand, Uzbeghistan

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Marble openwork panel; Shehzade Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey