Photographer's Note

This shot is taken from inside of a mosque. The window here is decorated with Arabesque design carvings.
The Islamic arabesque is a development of the Late Antique and Byzantine types of scrolling vegetal decoration that were inherited by Islam, and used with relatively little change in early Islamic art, for example in the famous 8th century mosaics of the Great Mosque of Damascus. The plants most often used are stylized versions of the acanthus, with its emphasis on leafy forms, and the vine, with an equal emphasis on twining stems. The evolution of these forms into a distinctive Islamic type was complete by the 11th century, having begun in the 8th or 9th century in works like the Mshatta Facade. Thereafter it was used very widely across the Islamic world, by no means just in Arabic-speaking areas, in many media for several centuries, and developed further. In the process of development the plant forms became increasing simplified and stylized.[2] Though the broad outline of the process is generally agreed, there is a considerable diversity of views held by specialist scholars on detailed issues concerning the development, categorization and meaning of the arabesque.[3] The detailed study of Islamic arabesque forms was begun by Alois Riegl in his formalist study Stilfragen: Grundlegungen zu einer Geschichte der Ornamentik (Problems of style: foundations for a history of ornament) of 1893, who in the process developed his influential concept of the Kunstwollen.[4] Riegl traced formalistic continuity and development in decorative plant forms from Ancient Egyptian art and other ancient Near Eastern civilizations through the classical world to the Islamic arabesque; while the Kunstwollen has few followers today, his basic analysis of the development of forms has been confirmed and refined by the wider corpus of examples known today.[5] Jessica Rawson has recently extended the analysis to cover Chinese art, which Riegl did not cover, tracing many elements of Chinese decoration back to the same tradition; the shared background helping to make the assimilation of Chinese motifs into Persian art after the Mongol invasion harmonious and productive.

From Wikipedia

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Additional Photos by Foozi Saad (foozi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 966 W: 0 N: 1364] (7101)
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