Islamic Art, West, and Central Asia

The arts of West and Central Asia play a key role in the history of world art, giving form to the vast cultural interchanges that have occurred in these lands that link the European and Asian peoples  incarqq.

7-1a:  Historical cultures of West and Central Asia reside in a vast area that includes the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant, Anatolia, Greater Iran, Central Asia, Inner Asia, and Himalayan Asia.  These regions have had shifting political boundaries throughout their histories and include lands associated with the former Soviet Union and modern China.  They form the heart of the ancient Silk Route that connected the Greco-Roman world with China and India  incarqq.

7-1b:  Arts attest to the transmission and influence of cultural ideas, such as Islam and Buddhism, and cultural art forms, such as Hellenistic architecture, Buddhist sculpture, chinoiserie (in Persian art), and ceramic-tile decoration.  Cross-cultural comparisons with the arts of these regions may be made most readily to the arts of the ancient Mediterranean, medieval Europe, and South, East, and Southeast Asia.

7-1c:  West Asia is the cradle of arts produced in regions with a dominant Islamic culture.  These arts may be religious or secular in nature, and may or may not have been made by or for Muslims.  The term “Islamic Art” may b applied to these diverse art forms.  Many examples of Islamic art from across the traditional Islamic lands share similarities in terms of their content and visual characteristics.

7-1d:  The arts of West and Central Asia were created for and acquired by various kinds of local and global patrons.  Audiences for these works included royal and wealthy patrons, lay and monastic religious practitioners, and foreign collectors who acquired works through gift or trade.

7-1e:  The arts of West and Central Asia had a great international impact through trade.  Textiles were perhaps the most important art form in these regions and dominated much of the international trade between Europe and Asia.  Islamic metalwork, including examples with Christian subject matter, was created for trade in the regions bordering the Mediterranean.  Ceramics were another important trade item, particularly the ink wares created in Turkey.

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