Art has been very useful in telling stories from the past. Human have over time established numerous systems of portraying their beliefs and presence. These representations have become part of the protocols in the community. In addition, people have been more able to communicate their emotions and faith within the public, on particular issues. This paper looks at three pieces of art work that portray art as a result of its context. The paper further describes how specific conventions were displayed from the literature. Mausoleum of the Samanids, Bukhara, Uzbekistan, Mausoleum of the Samanids, Bukhara, Uzbekistan, early 10th century. Bukhara is the location of the Mausoleum believed to have been built around the 9th century. It is an architectural masterpiece considering the technology used to design and made in those days. The ruler named Ismail Samani is believed to have built it. He was eventually buried in the building. The structure depicts the traditions of the inhabitant’s majority of whom were Arabs. The art in the composition is represented by the unusual patterns imprinted on the walls (Northedge, 53).
In this case, the history of funerary is depicted. It is a success story on the architecture. The hemispherical dome was built out of the brick blocks as well. The use of burnt bricks, which are quite small in size, created a magical piece of art. The remains have been closely monitored and preserved over time. This can be attributed to the attachment the people have to the portion of art and its history.
Decorations on the walls indicate the desire to make the building ‘appealing.’ However, it communicates a personnel that had a clear mind of what they desired to build. It is an expression of the emotions and the conventions of the time. The architects create fine art that captures the aspirations and drive of the society during that era. The art displayed in the round corners of the building is impressive. This is because the decorations would have been rated challenging to work. However, the technique reveals the hard work and determination the people had.
The dome of the rock
Figure 10-2 Aerial view of the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, 687–692.
The dome of the rock is a piece of art that narrates the history. As the name suggests, it houses the foundation that the Muslim religion believes was the spot at which Mohammed the prophet was taken by the chariot horse up to heaven on a miraculous night journey. It is considered the holiest mosque by many believers. The location of the dome of the rock is a historic city of Jerusalem. The town is described by years of ruins due to consistent wars in the early centuries.
The architects seemed to have sampled various elements of design making it mysterious to understand the whole design elements in one theme. The history of Muslim religion can, however, be described from the design and art depicted in colors and mosaic. Further, the account is not clear the linear story that could be deduced from the artistic plan. However, by using a graphic historical art, the primary purpose of building it is to preserve the religious meaning it represents. Otherwise, the mystery of its original purpose other than spiritual object may not be described by the art. The dome has a conspicuous golden crown that is a piece of art. In both Christian and Muslim religion, the use of a crown. The golden crown symbolizes authority. According to Grabar (52), the dome shape is a symbol of the sanctuary of holiness. The dome was designed to perhaps describe various elements of the Syrian regime of the time, but several factors reflect the Persian as well as Sassanids religious coding.
The Malwiya Minaret Mosque
Figure 10-9 Malwiya minaret of the Great Mosque, Samarra, Iraq, 848–852.
The Malwiya Minaret Mosque is a tall piece of art located in the Tigris Valley. Its structure is visually striking. The tower is part of the arrangements under it that represent the mosque. The minaret is district by its tall structure. However it may look slender, the structure has profound significance to the culture of the people. The builders seemed to be inspired by the shape of a baobab tree that thrives in the desert whether there are storms or not. This piece of art defines the religious belief of the Islam inhabitants.
To a large extent, many Muslims believe that following the rules of the religion means a total submission to their God. The Malwiya Minaret Mosque is, therefore, the representation of their will to submit to the will God albeit represented by the symbolic art (Ruggles, 2011). Its presence depicted a political as well as religious appearance of the caliphate. It was used to illustrate the presence of Islam as a religion. The theological importance reflects the norms the society believed. The monumental proportion of the building, however, brings into question the opinion of the people at the time. Did it create a sense of pride or was it a nuisance. The study of the structure’s art will not reveal the answers, but the fact that it still stands s means they held it in high esteem.
Grabar, Oleg. “The Umayyad Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.” Ars Orientalis (1959): 33-62.
Northedge, Alastair. “Creswell, Herzfeld, and Samarra.” Muqarnas (1991): 74-93.
Ruggles, D. Fairchild, ed. Islamic art and visual culture: an anthology of sources. John Wiley & Sons, 2011.