Indo Islamic medieval art in India

Indo Islamic or Indo Saracenic Style

  • Advent of Islam in the Indian subcontinent around the 7th century
  • A mixture of Indian, Persian, Arab & Turkish.
  • Early buildings of the Slave dynasty consisted of false domes & false arches.
  • Introduction of true arches & true domes started to appear with construction of Alai Darwaza by the side of Qutub Minar by Allaudin Khilji.
  • Concept of arch or dome was not invented by the Muslims but was, in fact, borrowed & was further perfected by them from the architectural styles of the post-Roman period.
  • Used cementing agent in the form of mortar for the first time.
  • Use of scientific principles helped not only in obtaining greater strength & stability of the construction materials but also provided greater flexibility to the architects & builders.
  • Islamic elements of architecture had already passed through different experimental phases in other countries like Egypt, Iran & Iraq before these were introduced in India.
  • Typical mortar-masonry works formed of dressed stones.
  • Mosques & Tombs – religious architecture
  • Palaces & Forts – secular Islamic architecture.

Features of Indo Islamic medieval art

  • Arch & Dome method.
  • Presence of Minor.
  • Use of mortar as cementing agent.
  • Avoided representation of Human being.
  • Avoided Spaciousness, massiveness & Breadth.
  • Generally decorated richly in geometrical & arabesque methods.
  • Use of figures & animals discouraged.
  • Use of geomentry in terms of Symmetry & for drawing geometrical pattern.
  • Use of gates in the premises in the form of courtyard pools & foutains.
  • Charbagh style.
  • Pietra dura technique.
  • Foresightening technique.

Arabesque Designs

  • It means Geometricized vegetal ornament.
  • It is characterized by continuous stem which splits regularly producing a series of counter poised, leafy secondary stems.
  • Secondary stems split again into tertiary stems to be reintegrated into the main stem.medieval art

Medieval art Mosques

  • Basically an open courtyard surrounded by a pillared verandah crowned off with a dome
  • Mihrab indicates the direction of the qibla for prayer.
  • Towards the right of the mihrab stands the mimbar or pulpit from where the Imam presides over the proceedings.
  • Large mosques where the faithful assemble for the Friday prayers are called the Jama Masjids.

Tomb Architecture

  • General pattern of the tomb architecture is consisted of a domed chamber (hujra), a cenotaph in its centre with a mehrab on the western wall and the real grave in the underground chamber
  • Mughals added a new dimension by introducing gardens all around the tomb.
  • Mughal tombs are generally placed at the centre of a huge garden complex, the latter being sub divided into square compartments, known as ‘Char-bagh style‘.
  • Scholars trace the evolution of the char-bagh pattern of gardening to the original land of the Mughals, the Kabul Valley.
  • They are also credited to have introduced the double dome system of dome architecture & the Peitra-dura style of inlay decorations.

medieval artProminent Indo-Islamic medieval art styles

  • The Imperial Style or Delhi sultanate art
  • The Provincial styles or Malwa, Bengal, Jaunpur arts
  • The Mughal Style (Delhi, Agra & Lahore)
  • The Deccan style (Bijapur & Hyderabad)

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