Monday, January 3, 2011

LNS 193 W a

The 13th and 14th century was the fall of the Muslim rule in Spain. The Nasrid kingdom in Spain was the last Islamic kingdom in Western Europe.

This door panel is from the late 14th century. It is 143 cm high and 95.5 cm wide. The interlace design of this door, with its eight-pointed stars and the straight borders forming square panels, is typical of the geometry of Islamic Spain.

This object is currently exhibited in “al-Fann: Art from the Islamic Civilization” in Palazzo Reale, Milan until 30th January, 2011. 


  1. Thanks Haya for the description of the wooden object.
    Would you know if there was a difference between islamic spain geometric patters and other islamic areas? Was spain the only users of 8 pointed stars?
    Is the difference a matter of techniques to produce geometrical patterns?
    is there a time when it all started in the islamic world?
    Was there a general evolution?
    Is there a special meaning to the use of geometrical patterns as decoration?

  2. I apologize for the very late reply! Got caught up with several things at work.

    Now I'm no expert on this but I will try my best to answer your questions.

    Since Islam prohibits the use of figural art, geometric shapes and vegetal ornamentation (as well as calligraphy) became the focus of design.

    Geometric designs have been developed over centuries from different culture such as Greek, Roman, Central Asian, and Persian. Islamic craftsmen and artists developed these geometric designs and created their own unique style of beautiful complex patterns.

    Star patterns are a common motif used in Islamic art and they can be created into extremely complex designs as they overlap and interlace resulting in an unending geometric pattern.

    Complex patterns can be created starting from a single central star.

    The eight-pointed star is found in many different cultures and each associates it with a different meaning. But it is widely spread in Islamic decorative arts; especially in areas such as Islamic Spain and Morocco.

    The eight-pointed star is a simple shape made by overlapping two squares.

    I don't know if I was able to answer all of your questions but I hope this will do :)

  3. Of course it answers my questions...
    thanks for all your efforts
    all the best