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What are some characteristics of Islamic art?

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Once a uniquely form of Islamic art emerged, one of its most defining characteristics was surfaces that were completely covered in decoration. There are four different types of decorations found in Islamic art: "calligraphy, vegetal patterns, geometric patterns, and figural representation" (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, "The Nature of Islamic Art").

Calligraphy is essentially a form of beautiful, embellished writing. Writing became essential to the Islamic culture because the Prophet Muhammed's revelations eventually needed to be recorded in what became called the Koran. Plus, most Muslims could not read; therefore, decorative writing became essential in making the words of the prophet meaningful to all (Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, "Caligraphy in...

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