The Mirage of Islamic Art: Reflections on the Study of an Unwieldy Field
Shelia S. BLAIR & Johnathan M. BLOOM
Publication Date: 2003
Journal Name: The Art Bulletin 85/1
LIBRI V (2019) 199-260
Received Date: 26.08.2019| Acceptance Date: 25.10.2019
Online Publication Date: 14.11.2019
Telif Hakkı © Libri Kitap Tanıtımı, Eleştiri ve Çeviri Dergisi, 2019
Critical Review: Shelia S. Blair & Johnathan M. Bloom, The Mirage of Islamic Art: Reflections on the Study of an Unwieldy Field, The Art Bulletin 85/1 (2003) 152-84. DOI: 10.2307/3177331
To mark the 2011 Centennial of the College Art Association, the CAA Centennial Task Force asked the Art Bulletin editorial board to create an online anthology, consisting of the “greatest hits” of the journal, and the article that forms the subject of this review was selected in 2010 by the Art Bulletin editorial board for reprinting in the Centennial Anthology of the Art Bulletin, which was published online on February 8th and revised on November 23rd 2011. It stands alongside articles of landmark art historical scholarship such as: No. 4. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, “Ornament”, Art Bulletin 21, no. 4 (December 1939): 375-82; No. 6. Mehmet Aga-Oglu, “About a Type of Islamic Incense Burner”, Art Bulletin 27, no. 1 (March 1945): 28-45; No. 17. Henry Maguire, “The Art of Comparing in Byzantium”, Art Bulletin 70, no. 1 (March 1988): 88–103, and, No. 31. Finbarr Barry Flood, “Between Cult and Culture: Bamiyan, Islamic Iconoclasm, and the Museum”, Art Bulletin 84, no. 4 (December 2002): 641–59. It is Number 32, and is the longest of the 33 selected articles/essays, there are also six reviews in this College Art Association 2011 centennial anthology.
Shelia S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom have authored volumes that are entitled: Islamic Arts, 1997, The Art and Architecture of Islam, 1250-1800, 1994 and 1996 and Jonathan Bloom was the editor and an author in the volume entitled, Early Islamic Art and Architecture, of 2002, before the much cited article by Shelia S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom was published in the Art Bulletin in 2003, entitled, ‘The Mirage of Islamic Art: Reflections on the Study of an Unwieldy Field.’ Both authors of this article are the editors of the three volume work entitled, The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture, of 2009. All of these volumes through their titles explicitly state there is such a thing as can be termed and recognised as representing, Islamic Art, or, the Art and Architecture of Islam, in the same sense as there is such a thing as for example Hindu Art and Architecture with its various forms, symbols and styles, as there is Buddhist Art and Architecture with its various forms, symbols and styles, just as there is Christian Art and Architecture with its various forms, symbols and styles; that is arts comprising specific forms, designs and subjects of representation that are consequent upon the content of the religion itself, and which are expressed through a recognisable set of visual forms and terms. The relationship between a religion and the arts associated with it and the culture that develops, which is influenced by the particular religion, in the case of Christian art, “l’art chretien”, Die Christliche Kunst, extending from the Roman catacombs to the present day, is recognisable through a group of symbolic forms, from the various cross-crucifix shapes represented in two and three dimensions, to the representation of Christ, the Trinity, the dove of the Holy Spirit, the Hand of God, to particular architectural forms, bell towers, spires, etc. etc. In the 18th c. Enlightenment Adam Friedrich Oeser (1717-1799) wrote to Johann Joachim Winckelmann that the secret of Christian art lay in the representation of the divine, die Versinnlichung des Göttlichen; while half a millennia earlier, Muhyīd-Dīn ibn Arabī (1165-1240) had likewise recorded a most accurate evaluation of what lay at the heart of Christian Orthodox art, writing: “The Byzantines developed the art of painting to its perfection because for them the unique nature (fardāniyyah) of Jesus (sayyidnā ‘Isā), as expressed in his image, is the foremost support of concentration on Divine Unity”, indicating an acute awareness by a Muslim of the meaning-content carried through non-Muslim art. This is of course, not to state that the particular forms and the way of representation employed in a particular religion remained entirely unchanged, immutable over the centuries, but, that the aim of the work that was made by means of art was to express and remind of the key elements of the particular religion in visual forms, through the use of recognisable and recognised shared religious-cultural forms and symbols of the particular religion, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, as other. There are of course variants over time and from region to region, within the group of structures and ornaments, constructed and employed for communal worship within a particular religion, as for example the ecclesia, termed: basilica, churches, chapels, cathedrals, abbeys etc. while remaining identifiable Christian places of communal worship. The art of Islam, in this sense, is no special case, as the same is true of those works produced by means of art by Muslim designers and craftsmen in those regions and peoples that accepted the religion of Islam and, such works can be identified and described as being works of Islamic Art, the Art of Islam. In contrast, nothing in the form, or in the design, or in the appearance of a bottle, or, of a can, of Coca-Cola, suggests a particular religious affiliation, although globally today the language on the bottle, or on the can, displays particularist, national-linguistic affiliations, and so, like most modern manufactured items, it does not come within the purview of what, in its widest cultural sense, could meaningfully be described as being a work of religious art.
The following important paragraph occurs in Blair and Bloom’s 2003 article, which states that not just that the term, “Islamic Art” but also, and remarkably, that “Islamic art” is itself, “largely”, a Western created cultural construct of the 20th century:
“There is no evidence that any artist or patron in the fourteen centuries since the revelation of Islam ever thought of his or her art as “Islamic”, and the notion of a distinctly “Islamic” tradition of art and architecture, eventually encompassing the lands between the Atlantic and the Indian oceans, is a product of late nineteenth-and twentieth-century Western scholarship, as is the terminology used to identify it. Until that time, European scholars used such restrictive geographic or ethnic terms as “Indian” “(Hindu)” sic., “Persian”, “Turkish”, “Arab”, “Saracenic”, and “Moorish” to describe distinct regional styles current in the Indian subcontinent, the Ottoman Empire, Iran, the Levant, and southern Spain. Such all-embracing terms as “Mahommedan” or “Mohammedan”, “Moslem” or “Muslim”, and “Islamic” came into favor only when twentieth-century scholars began to look back to a golden age of Islamic culture that they believe had flourished in the eighth and ninth centuries and project it simplistically onto the kaleidoscopic modern world. In short, Islamic art as it exists in the early twenty-first century is largely a creation of Western culture”.
This same idea was publicised in the 2006, New York, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) exhibition entitled, Without Boundary: Seventeen Ways of Looking, in, “Islamic or Not”, and in its catalogue entry by Fereshteh Daftari, citing Oleg Grabar: “Indeed, even the term ‘Islamic art’ is said to be the invention of the modern western art historian, having been used by Europeans (the Occidents) for the first time in the 1860s”. This position was then reiterated by Shelia S. Blair in 2012, “The idea of an Islamic art is a distinctly modern notion, developed not by the culture itself but by art historians in Europe and America trying to understand a relatively unfamiliar world and to place the arts created there into the newly developing field of art history. In light of the nationalism that developed during the early twentieth century, some scholars, particularly those in the Islamic lands, questioned the use of the term, opting instead for nationalistic names, speaking of, say, Turkish or Persian art. But these terms are also misleading, for Islam has traditionally been a multiethnic and multicultural society, and it is impossible to distinguish the contribution of, for example, Persian-speaking artists in what is today Turkey”. From thence, presumably, the circulation today on the internet of statements such as: “Islamic art is a modern concept created by art historians in the 19th century to facilitate categorization and study of the material first produced under the Islamic peoples that emerged from Arabia in the seventh century”; “Islamic art is a modern concept created by art historians in the 19th century to categorise and study of the material first produced in Arabia in the seventh century”; “Islamic Art is a modern concept, created by art historians in the nineteenth century to categorize and study the material first produced under the Islamic peoples that emerged from Arabia in the seventh century” and, “Next, ask the class what exactly the term “Islamic Art” might mean. Here, you can point out the temporal and geographic diversity of the materials that could be included in that phrase, which could be accompanied by more familiar images like the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (691CE) and the Taj Mahal in India (1632-53CE). With these, you can explain that Islamic Art is a modern concept created by art historians in the nineteenth century to categorize and study the material produced under the Islamic peoples that emerged from Arabia in the seventh century”.
Firstly of course, “Islam” is not, as is stated above by Shelia S. Blair in 2012, a society, while there are of course Muslim and/or Islamic societies. “Islam”, the word, is the name of a particular religion, the religion revealed by Muhammad the Prophet of Allah, the Almighty and which defines the religion of Muslims. In Arabic the word Islām means, submission (to God).
The first sentence of the paragraph from Blair and Bloom’s 2003 article, that forms the subject of this review, states: “There is no evidence that any artist or patron in the fourteen centuries since the revelation of Islam ever thought of his or her art as “Islamic,…”. The assertion that no artist/craftsman or patron over the course of fourteen hundred years thought of the work being made as being “Islamic”, is perhaps a somewhat strange statement to make, divorcing craft, art, work, from the religion, when they have over the course of 1400 years been intimately related and are recorded as such. This most unfortunately is rather like suggesting that the 12th c. Christian craftsman and Benedictine monk, Theophilus, Roger of Helmarshausen, author of De diversis artibus – On Diverse Arts, who opens his work: “I Theophilus, a humble priest, servant of the servants of God”, and continues “Through the spirit of wisdom you know that all created things proceed from God, and that without Him nothing exists…And lest perchance you have misgivings, I will clearly demonstrate that whatever you can learn, understand or devise is ministered to you by the grace of the seven-fold spirit”; was a man who never thought of the work of his craftsmanship as being Christian, which is of course simply nonsense. Inquire, read, ask on this matter of the aim concerning the work, for example from any master of Islamic calligraphy, past or present, if they thought of their work, of sanat, of their skill and of the craft, as being unconnected with the religion, with Islam. Annemarie Schimmel in 1982 indicated the case in employing the following opening quotation, taken from a 16th c. treaties on calligraphy, to open her own volume entitled, Calligraphy and Islamic Culture:
“Come, O pen of composition and write letters
In the name of the Writer of the Well-preserved Tablet and the Pen!”.
This is not simply recording in the second line in a poetic form, a version of the Bismilla, but is also an expression of iktisāb, that is, that the calligrapher, or other craftsman in the practice of their sanat-art-craft was known and was understood to be a willing instrument, one who has indirectly through the source of the tradition of the craft, or directly, through the spiritual imagination, acquired that which is to be expressed by means of art from the Almighty (see below).
As had been the case for Europeans for centuries, in the 19th c. Owen Jones had recognised, and he restated, that religious principles underlay the art of Islam. This reiteration occurring more than half a century before Shelia Blair and Jonathan Bloom suggest the terms “Mohammedan”, “Muhammedan”, “Moslem”, “Muslim” or “Islamic art” “came into favour” in the 20th c. Owen Jones wrote in his 1838 lecture entitled, ‘On the Influence of Religion Upon Art,’ stating that, “where the Arabs (meaning Muslims), not finding the Byzantine churches ready to their hands, were left to the full play of their imaginations, and produced the most fanciful and voluptuous of all kinds of art, as well as the most faithful to their religious principles”. In stating that the religious art of the Muslims, was “the most faithful to their religious principles”, he was simply reminding that the arts of Islam are to be recognised as being religious art, and faithful to, reflecting, their religious principles, which was a point that had been noted and remarked upon for centuries by Europeans (see below). This, remark made by European Christians, not least due to the most considerable visual absence of the usual and expected depiction of figures, human/divine and other creatures, together with the extensive use of certain types of designs and of identifying calligraphic inscriptions, largely in Arabic, the language of the Qur’ān, in the Art of Islam or Islamic Art, unlike, for example in the religious arts of Christianity, or in the religious arts of Hinduism and Buddhism, or as in the numerous and varied forms of paganism.
This statement made by Bloom and Blair is quite contrary to the surviving Muslim written sources, the recorded evidence concerning this matter. The Mu’tazilite, Abū ʿAmr Ḍirār ibn ʿAmr al-Ghaṭafānī l-Kūfī (c. 728-815), was explicit on this matter of human actions, including that of making something by means of art:
“acts are created, and the single act belongs to two agents: one of them creates it, and that is God; the other acquires (iktisāb) it, and that is man. God is the agent of acts of men in reality, and men are their agents in reality’ (Maqālāt, 281).
Likewise, Abū al-Ḥasan al-Ashʿarī in the second century A.H. (874-936 A.D.) posed the question, “Why do you say that God is knowing (‘ālim)?” On the one hand, al-Ash’ari is asserting that only a knowing being could design something that is well constructed and well-ordered, and since God is the all knowing, he must be the creator of all things. An unknowing creature such as man could not possibly create even such a thing as a well-patterned brocade according to al-Ash’ari, and so God must be the creator. Likewise, the universe is a well-ordered system and since only God is such a knowing agent, only he could have understood such a thing, designed it and created it”. That is, al-Ashʿarī stated the Almighty must be the (Real) creator of the design, with the human designer of “a well patterned brocade” or, for example, of the design of the decorative tile-work on and in a dome, or the design of the forms carved in a stucco panel, or the tile-work designs of a miḥrāb, or of the right form for a particular muqarnas vault, or the fitting design for a carpet, being the designer-craftsman who was, is, and remains, the human agent, the human instrument of Al-Musawwir, The Fashioner, The Shaper, The Designer of Beauty, the Creator, Al-Khaliq, the Almighty. In the 13th c. for example, Jālāl ad-Dīn Rumī, expressed this same sense and understanding of this relationship, which lies at the basis of the submission to the Creator, Al-Khaliq, writing:
“We are the pen in that master’s hand;
We ourselves do not know where we are going”.
Are we today really supposed to believe that Muslim designers, calligraphers, and craftsmen, over the course of the past fourteen hundred years, never reflected, nor remembered from whom the Word, the design, or chosen form, colour and pattern(s) of the work, in fact, within this particular religious perspective and context, was understood to have originated? “Did He (The Almighty) bring you forth, give you existence, and make you capable of service and worship that you should boast of serving Him? These services and sciences are just as if you carved little shapes of wood and leather, then came to offer them up to God, saying, “I like these little shapes. I made them, but it is your job to give them life, You will make my works live. Or, You do not have to – the command is entirely Yours”. And, – are we today really supposed to believe they did not know that the work that they produced was “Islamic” – in the sense of the reflection of the intent and of the meaning the work conveyed, in the content of the designs and in the very texts employed, most often from the Qur’ān itself, that they displayed in their works? Are we today really supposed to believe that these designers and craftsmen and patrons did not recognise that their work was distinct, through the choices made and expressed, in both meaning, design, text and form, from those works that were produced by the members of different faiths within and beyond the multi-faith urban communities that formed the Islamic world? Likewise, are we supposed to think that their patrons did not mean what they wrote, as when, for example, Firuz Shah, recorded his submission to the will of the Almighty in the 14th c., “Again, by the guidance of Allah, I was led to repair and rebuild the edifices and structures of former rulers and ancient emirs, which had fallen into decay through lapse of time, giving the restoration of these buildings the priority over my own building works.”, and that, “I was enabled by Allah’s help to build a Dār al-shifā, for the benefit of everyone of high or low degree, who was suddenly attacked by illness and overcome by suffering”. These were and remain “Islamic works”, driven from their inception, the work begun with Bismillahirrahmanirrahim, begun in the name of the Almighty, be it a design, a construction or a restoration – a making, be it a work of calligraphy, often of a text from the Qur’ān, a painting on a ceramic tile, or in the carving of a wooden spoon, with the belief of both craftsman and patron in the Almighty and his Messenger, these works from the humble to the splendiferous made by means of art, are works of belief, of tradition, craft and skill, in a similar sense as, for example, the Christian Catholic faith raised by means of art the Gothic cathedrals of Europe.
Muhyīd-Dīn ibn Arabī (1165-1240) in Konya in 1210, relates concerning Islamic art: “It is from the Divine Name the Creator…that there derives the inspiration to painters in bringing beauty and proper balance to their pictures. In this connection I witnessed an amazing thing in Konya in the land of the Rum. There was a certain painter whom we proved and assisted in his art in respect of a proper artistic imagination which he lacked”. This passage is explicit, that it is “From The Divine Name the Creator comes the inspiration”, the illumination, that brings beauty and balance to paintings, this, through the use of “a proper artistic imagination”. An “improper” artistic imagination within this context would be that of the Christian painter, and it seems most probable that the painter that ibn Arabī assisted was a convert from Orthodox Christianity to Islam, in the art of which, as ibn Arabī knew and recorded, a different spiritual imagination was required.
Further, it was well known to craftsmen (as also patrons) throughout the world of Islam that the craft they practiced, that of making things by means of art, was a consequence of revelation from the Almighty; as is related for example by Jālāl ad-Dīn Rumī in his Fīhi Ma Fīh: “So when you investigate all trades (crafts), the root and origin of them was revelation, men have learned them from the prophets and they are The Universal Intellect”. A work of design, of craftsmanship, was understood to be the visible expression of the acquisition iktisāb of design and skill in creation from its Originator, The Creator, and was therefore understood to be a work of the religion of Islam, and so, of Islamic art. As earlier stated by Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Ghazālī (d. 1111) in his Kimiya-yi Sa’ādat, The Alchemy of Happiness, written after 1096, “No person is able to work at all kinds of trades, but by the will of God, upon one is devolved one art and upon another two, and the whole community is made dependent, one member upon the other”. It has been understood over the past fourteen hundred years in the world of Islam that all the crafts, the arts, from calligraphy and the design of ornament, to pottery and leatherwork, devolve from the Almighty, Al-Musawwir, and the work produced by craftsman for patrons was, and is, to be understood as being “Islamic”, by virtue of iktisāb, through the designer-craftsman’s submission to, and the work originating from the generosity of the Divine Maker. In consequence, to rewrite Blair and Bloom’s initial sentence of the paragraph from 2003 cited above, taking into account the sources given above: “There is considerable recorded evidence to suggest that the majority of craftsmen-designers and their patrons of greater and lesser means in the fourteen centuries since the revelation of Islam thought of their craft and of the works they produced as being “Islamic”, this simply was understood and visible to the aware”.
It is unfortunately also quite untrue and simply misleading for Shelia S. Blair and Johnathan Bloom to state that before the late 19th c.-20th c. European scholars only “used such restrictive geographic or ethnic terms as “Indian” (“Hindu”) sic., “Persian”, “Turkish”, “Arab”, “Saracenic”, and “Moorish” to describe distinct regional styles current in the Indian subcontinent, the Ottoman Empire, Iran, the Levant, and southern Spain”, to describe those works that would today be described by the term “Islamic Art.” Firstly because before the late 19th c. terms such as Arab, Saracenic and Moorish, were not terms that were only used in a restrictive geographic and ethnic sense, but were employed and understood to indicate the Art of Islam. It is the case that the thesis expressed by Shelia S. Blair and Jonathan Bloom, that before the late 19th or 20th century, European scholars and others did not recognise that which is today termed “Islamic art” existed, did not know that there was a particular and characteristic tradition of Muslim art, of making and design that extended to “the lands between the Atlantic and Indian oceans” and beyond, is quite simply, intentionally or otherwise, unfortunate and both mistaken and misleading.
The reason for this noteworthy misinformation may stem from a misapprehension, or a lack of awareness of the complex terminology that has been employed by European writers and scholars to describe what is today termed “Islamic Art”, in the centuries before the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The assertion that: “Such all-embracing terms as “Mahommedan” or “Mohammedan”, “Moslem” or “Muslim”, and “Islamic” came into favor only when twentieth-century scholars began to look back to a golden age of Islamic culture that they believe had flourished in the eighth and ninth centuries and project it simplistically onto the kaleidoscopic modern world”, is quite simply not reflected in the actual sources, it is incorrect. For example, G. W. Sanson, writing not in the 20th c., but in 1867 employed the terms “Moors” and “Muhammedan art”, writing, “It was of course in the North of Spain that the Mediaeval Gothic and the earliest improved Christian painting was executed; since the Southern portion of this storied land was under the control of the Moors and of Muhammedan art until nearly A. D. 1500… and lastly (an early school) at Seville in the extreme South, in old Andalusia, so near to the Moorish cities of Cordova and Granada as to breath the intellectual atmosphere of the former and the art inspiration of the latter seat of Arabian greatness”. The term, “Muhammedan art”, as employed by G. W. Sanson in 1867 means much the same, as the term “Islamic art” today. While Oleg Grabar, somewhat more accurately stated it was in the 1860’s that the term, “Islamic Art” came into use.
It has been understood and recorded over the centuries by Europeans, both scholars and others, that particular forms of art were associated with the religion of Islam, i.e. that particular forms and styles of art were recognised by Europeans as being “Islamic art”, long before the actual term “Islamic art” was applied; not least, the use of the types of design that were first termed by European Catholics, Arabesco, Arabesk, and Moresque, the so-called Arabesque, together with the term “Arabian art”, terms which were often employed by Europeans to mean Islamic art. In the absence of the terms/words, Muslim/Moslem, Islam and Islamic, in European languages in the Medieval and into the Early Modern periods in Europe (see below), the name Arab, as also, Moor and Turk, were employed by Europeans, and these were employed in their adjectival forms, understood at that time to mean Muslim/Islamic Art. The terms, Arabesque, Arab-Arabic-Arabick, Arabian art, Moresk, Moorish art and turquesco, Turky worke-Turkish art, were not employed at that time, as later, in the 19th to 21st centuries, as “restrictive geographic or ethnic terms” – they were employed for centuries and quite simply meant, and mean, the arts of Islam, those works of art produced by the religion, civilisation and culture of Muslim populations in the Muslim-Islamic world, and, as was also the case for example, after the conquest of Al-Andalus in the Catholic Crusades, when Muslim and crypto-Muslim populations continued producing ceramics decorated in Arabesco-Islamic style, etc. These terms were employed by Europeans in the same sense as there was understood to be such a thing as Christian art, Die Christliche Kunst, both before, and after, such divisive events as the split between the Latin and Orthodox Churches, the Great Schism of 1054, as likewise remained the case after the 16th c. Protestant Reformations, Lutheran, Calvinist, English, Dutch reformed, etc. It is the case that Orthodox art, Catholic art and the varieties of Protestant art, remain exemplars of what is recognisably Christian art and civilisation; just as works of Omayyad, Abbasid, Seljuk and Ottoman, Timurid and Mughal, as well as, Fatimid and Safavid art, were, and they remain distinguishable, but recognisably works of Islamic art and civilisation.
The published evidence on this matter of the recognition by European writers-scholars of works of art associated with the religion and culture of Islam is quite clear and extensive, and it dates from long before the 1860’s, the date that was stated by Oleg Grabar, who “traces the first discussion of art as “Islamic” to Moriz Carriere”; long before 1866 or 1900, to the “late 19th century” or, “twentieth-century scholars”, as was stated by Blair and Bloom in 2003. “Islamic art” is not a modern construct, nor yet a “mirage”, and knowledge of, and recognition of Islamic-Muslim Art through the use of particular terms to record it, dates in Europe from before the 14th c.
The concept of “Islamic art”, meaning the Muslim equivalent of what was, and is, meant by the term “Christian art”, was embodied in a particular group of terms that had been employed by European scholars, including Italian, Spanish, French, English, German and Latin speakers for centuries to indicate and described what is today termed “Islamic art”. These terms at the time of their use, with their variant spellings, were understood to relate, not primarily to any ethnic group, but to the art of the religion of Islam, (except in the particular sense of including within it the ethnic fact, that the Prophet of Islam was an Arab, an Arabian, and spoke Arabic, and the Qur’ān was spoken and is written in Arabic, hence, Arabian Art-Arabic Art, etc.), and it was because of the use of this particular language, employed in the religion and in the repetition in an enormous variety of calligraphic works of Islamic religious texts and parts and words thereof, that the terms: “Arabesco”, “Arabic Art”, “Arabian Art” and “Arab art” were employed for centuries by European scholars to describe what would today be termed “Islamic art”.
These terms, knowingly employed for centuries to describe what is today termed “Islamic art”, include: Arabesco (14th c. It. and Portuguese), Arabesk (1610), Arabe’sk-αραβούργημα, Arabesque, Arabasques, Morisco, Morisk, Moreskwork, Moorish, Moresque (1738). William Chauncey Fowler writes concerning the derivation of the suffix “esque”, “The Romanic suffix esque, (Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese esco, Provencal and Wallachian esc, French esque,) … and is found in a few words relating to art, derived from the Italian through the French. Examples: Arabesque, (Italian and Portuguese arabesco, French arabesque, German arabeske,) literally Arabic, hence something in the Arabic style or manner… Moresque, (Italian and Spanish morisco, Portuguese moresco, French Moresque,) literally Moorish, hence something in the Moorish style or manner”. As noted above, the former terms employed for centuries before 1866 by Europeans for Islamic art also include the terms: Arabian Art, arabischen Kunst, Arabic Art, Arab Art, Saracenic Art, Arts of the Saracens or Arabians (i.e. the terms Saracens and Arabians were regarded as synonyms, meaning Muslims), “Saracenic or Mussulman style” (i.e. the terms Saracenic and Mussulman (meaning Muslim) were regarded as synonyms in the 1830’s as in 1738, in terms of style). Nor was the term Saracenic in the sense of Muslim-Islamic, restricted to the Levant, hence Minard Lafever’s use of the term “Saracenic art” in 1856, not to mean of the Levant, as Blair and Bloom in 2003 state, but rather, to mean “Islamic Art”, writing that, “The Taj Mahal is a structure so pure and perfect, that it occupies that place in Saracenic art, which in Grecian art is represented by the Parthenon”. Mussulman art, l’art musulman, Mohammedan art, Mahometan art, Mahommedan art, Moslem art, “Muhammedanische Kunst”, “Mohammedanische Kunst”, “Die Kunst des Islam” (1842, 1843), l’art Islamique (1858), the Art of Islam (1851). All of these terms were employed by European scholars whose works were published before 1866 (“the late 19th century”), some of them centuries earlier, to define-describe that which is today termed, “Islamic art”.
In 1826 Charles Edward Papendiek was explicit as to the terminology: “The Saracenic which is supposed to be the parent of the Gothic… The Moorish or Mauresque, and the Arabian or Arabesque styles are simply variations of the Saracenic, and differ only in the forms of the arches and in the varieties of their ornamental foliage”. And he also noted that this art was defined in part by the absence of the depictions of creatures, “Arabesque or Moresque, a style of ornaments in painting or sculpture, in which no animals are represented”, thereby indicating the religion, through this exclusion of the representation of living creatures.
Consequently, what is today termed Islamic Art, is most certainly not, in fact, a so-called “mirage”, that was manufactured by European scholars in the late 19th-20th centuries, but instead has been recognised and described by European writers and scholars since the Middle Ages, as a recognisable type of religious art, a religious art which was both recognised and described as such by Europeans. It was firstly distinguished, recognised and described as such, not least, due to the most considerable absence of the depictions in two and three-dimensions of humans and creatures, of images, in comparison with Christian Art, as had been repeatedly noted for centuries by many Christian Europeans, as in the 19th c. in 1851 by Ralph Nicholson Wornum: “The principles of the Saracenic (Art, i.e. Islamic Art) are soon stated: the conditions of the new Mohammedan law were stringent; there was to be no image of a living thing, vegetable (sic.) or animal. Such conditions led of course to a very individual style of decoration, for vegetable forms (sic.) were now excluded for the first time. However, by the eighth century when the richer works of the Saracens commenced… , were already sufficiently skilful to make light of such exclusions, and the exertion of such ingenuity which they impelled gave rise to, perhaps, a more, beautiful simply ornamental style than any that had preceded it, for there was no division of the artistic mind now, between meaning and effect; and although the religious cycles and other symbolic figures, which had hitherto engrossed so much of the artist’s attention were excluded, the mere conventional ornamental symbolism, the ordinary forms borrowed from the classic period, and geometry, left an abundant field behind, which was further enriched by the peculiarly Saracenic custom of elaborating inscriptions into the designs. Mere curves and angles or interlacings were now to bear the chief burden of a design; the curves, however, very naturally fell into the standard forms and floral shapes; and the lines and angles were soon developed into a very characteristic species of tracery or interlaced strap-work, very agreeably diversified by the ornamental introduction of the inscriptions”; as in 1842 by E. W. Lane, who wrote, “Painting and sculpture, as applied to the representation of living objects, are, I have already stated, absolutely prohibited by the religion of El-Islām: there are, however, some Muslims in Egypt who attempt the delineation of men, lions, camels, and other animals, flowers, boats, etc., particularly in (what they call) the decoration of a few shop fronts, the doors of pilgrims’ houses etc.; though their performances would be surpassed by children of five or six years of age in our own country”.
This was also noted by Peter Nicholson in 1854, “Amongst the many peculiarities of Arabian art, perhaps none is more worthy of mention than that method of ornamentation which has been designated under the title of arabesques, although the term, as applied by the moderns, does not exactly describe the peculiar ornament alluded to; with us, the term includes a wider range of decoration. The law of the Mohammedan faith prohibited all representations of human or animal figures, as bordering too closely on the practices of Christianity and paganism, and this precept was at first very strictly adhered to. Their arabesques therefore, excluding all forms of animal life, consist entirely of representations of fanciful plants, stalks, and foliage, treated in an artistic manner, and gracefully entwined in an endless variety of form; these were introduced on the walls, sometimes in colour only, but very often in stucco, the pattern standing out from the wall in high relief”.
These quotations indicating the association made by Europeans between the religion of Islam and the absence of figural images, and, to the importance given to the most considerable use of the group of designs, themselves termed by Europeans more than 600 years ago, in Latin, arabico opera ornatus, arabicus ornatus, opus arabicum, Arab-esco, Arab-esque, Mor-esk, Moorish, Rebesco, Rabbesco, with arabesco, rabbesco, turquesco, moresco, the religiously distinguishing equivalent of, Cristianesco, chinesco, etc. And, thirdly, to the repeated use of texts in Arabic and expressions taken from the Qur’ān and employed over a vast range of material surfaces on objects and structures. These three distinguishing parts, in their varied combination, define key elements that enabled a work to be recognised for centuries by Europeans as in the Arabic, that is, in the Islamic manner, and which is described today as a work of traditional Muslim-Islamic Art.
On some terms and dates
For the English language, the Shorter Oxford Dictionary indicates the date of the first known recorded use of particular words and their various meanings in the language at that time and later, and their etymology where known, and it provides instruction concerning changes in meaning in terms and terminology, providing record when addressing matters of terminology, such as the first use in English of the words: Islam, Islamic, Muslim, Arabesk, Arabesque, etc. The relevant and related entries, together with some additional notes, are given below:
Saracen, Old English (5th to late 11th c.), from Latin Sarracene, (Ger. der Saracene). By extension, a Mohammedan or Moslem, esp. with ref. to the Crusades. As later, for example in the 16th c. John Foxe, Acts & Monuments, Richard I. “slays the Saracen captives”, as likewise, “Caliph, A title assumed by the successors of Mahomet among the Saracens”. Saracens meaning Muslims. Hence: Simon Ockley’s, The History of the Saracens. Containing the lives of Abubeker, Omar, Othman, Ali, Hasan, Moawiyah I. Yezid I. Moawiyah II. Abdolla, Merwan I. and Abdolmelick, the immediate successors of Mahomet. Giving an account of their most remarkable battles, sieges, etc. particularly those of Aleppo, Antioch, Damascus, Alexandria, and Jerusalem. Illustrating the religion, rites, customs, and manner of living of that warlike people. Collected from the most authentic Arabic authors, especially mss. not hitherto publish’d in any European language, Cambridge, 1708. From hence Saracenic, dress armour, art etc. Also the head of a Saracen, Arab, or Turk, used as a charge in heraldry, as an inn-sign etc. as in the name of numerous inns, such as the 1242 Saracen’s Head, Beaconsfied; the Saracen’s Head, Ware, first mentioned in 1365; and, in the 16th c., Ye Olde Saracen’s Head, in Coventry.
Sarazen, Sarrazin, or Sarracin, Old English (5th to late 11th c. from Old French), Thomas Percy remarks, “just as in the same manner as they afterwards used the name of Sarazen to express any kind of Pagan or Idolater. In the ancient romance of “Merline” (in the editor’s folio MS.) the Saxons themselves that came over with Hengist (mid 5th c.), because they were not Christians, are constantly called Sarazens”. In Crusader sources it is often unclear if the saracen/sarazen (s) who is mentioned was ethnically an Arab, a Turk, a Kurd, Persian, a Romanoi/Rum, a Copt, a Berber, an Armenian, a Catholic Frank, or any other convert to Islam, the term Saracen was a term employed to simply mean, any Muslim. In the Expenses of the Great Wardrobe of Edward III from 21st. Dec. 1345 to 31st Jan. 1349, are the entries, pelū de ope sarazen, and, pelū de ope sarasano, meaning of Muslim-Islamic work.
Sarazin, Old French, still used in 1637 in French.
Scaracen, Employed in a device in heraldry from the Crusade of Richard I, 1190-1192, if not before, “Heveningham Sr. the origin of which (armorial) bearing is ascribed to Sir William Heveningham , Knt., who, “Going with King Richard I. overcame Safer, the daring Saracen, captain of the castle in Palestine. Since that they gave his head for a crest”. And, it was the name given to numerous inns, before the 16th c. The Scaracen’s Head, e.g., Kings Norton, Birmingham; Saracen’s Head, a London tavern and coaching establishment, which stood on the north side of Snow Hill, without Newgate, etc.
Saracenic, first recorded use in English, 1638, Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the Saracens.
Saracenical 1613, hence, “Saracenical manner of building”, In 1764, employed in an ethnic sense to mean Arabs; “and in the End, overturned the whole Saracenical System of Power in Asia”, At times employed as a synonym for barbarous, 1772, “barbarous, or Saracenical”. Saracenish Employed at times to mean the Arabic language, as in the Medieval, Enfances Vivian, or, The Covenant of Vivian, Ger. Saracenish
- applied to Mohammedan architecture, or to any feature of it, from 1768.
Saracenism n. (1659) Islam.
Hagarene, 1535, via Latin, Agarenus, from Agar, Hagar, A reputed descendant of Hagar, the concubine of Abraham, and the mother of Ishmael-Ismail; a Hagarite, meaning an Arab, a Saracen.
Ismaelite, Ishmaelite, Ishmaelitic, 1571.
- A name sometimes formerly given, especially by Jews, to the Arabs as descendants of Ishmael, and so to Mohammedans generally.
Mahumet, The name of the founder of the Moslem religion. (from the Anglo-Norman, 1066 to the late 15th century).
Mahound, Mahun, (from the Anglo-Norman, 1066 to the late 15th century.), meaning Mohammad, a false prophet or,
- a false god or Idol.
Mauhoumet, The name of the founder of the Moslem religion. (from the Anglo-Norman, 1066 to the late 15th century).
Maumet, the shortened form of the name of the founder of the Moslem religion (from the Anglo-Norman).
Mammet, from the Anglo-Norman Maumet, the shortened form of Mauhoumet – Mahumet – Muhammad.
Mahomet, Middle English (from 1066 to the late 15th century.), 1768, “Caliph, A title assumed by the successors of Mahomet among the Saracens”; 1851, “and like the decorations of Cairo, most probably have their source in Damascus, the common nursery of Mahometan art.
hence; Mahometism 1579.
Mahmets 1579 = Muslims.
Mawmentry, Late Middle English (about 1400 to about 1500,) 1412, employed by the Benedictine, John Lydgate of Bury, Suffolk, author of The Troy Book, “I have set him last of all my book, Among the gods of false mawmentry, etc.”) – Mahometry, i.e. idolatry). Throughout the English 1579 translation of Marco Paolo’s Travels, Mahometans and other worshippers of idols are always called Mahomets and Mahmets. And the word Mammet seems to be a corruption of Mahomet, the Anglican Archbishop of Dublin, Richard Chenevix Trench in 1885 stated: “We have another of a parallel injustice, in the use which ‘mammetry’, a contraction of ‘Mahometry’, obtained in our early English. Mahometanism being the most prominent form of false religion with which our ancestors came in contact, ‘mammetry’ was used up to and beyond the Reformation, to designate first any false religion, and then the worship of idols; idolatry being proper to, and a leading feature of, most of the false religions of the world. Men did not pause to remember that Mahometanism is the great exception, being as it is a protest against all idol-worship whatsoever; so that it was a signal injustice to call an idol ‘a mammet’ or a Mahomet and idolatry ‘mammetry.’ To pursue the fortunes of the word a little further, at the next step not religious images only, but dolls were called ‘mammets;’ and when in Romeo and Juliet old Capulet contemptuously styles his daughter ‘a whining mammet’ the process is strange, yet its every step easy to be traced, whereby the name of the Arabian false prophet is fastened on the fair maiden of Verona”.
Mahometry 1481, meaning Mohammedanism, in the 16th c. misused to mean idolatry and which misuse is found earlier, as in the 12th c. “Chanson de Roland”, said to describe Emperor Charlemagne’s expedition against the Spanish Moslems of 778 AD. are the following lines: “The Emperor has captured Sargossa and has the town searched by a thousand of his Franks. In the Synagogues and temples of Muhammed (Mosques), with iron clubs and hand axes, they smash Muhammed and all the other idols so that no devilry or superstition will remain…His (Charlemagne’s) Bishops bless the waters and lead the pagans (meaning the Moslems and Jews) to the Baptistery. If one of them opposes the will of Charles, then he has him imprisoned, burnt or slain. More than 100,000 are thus baptized, made true Christians”.
Mahometist 1513 from French, mahométisme.
Mahomedan 1782, 1811, 1812.
Mohammed, 1615, The name of the founder of the Moslem religion.
Mohammedan, 1553, 1681.
- Of, or relating to Mohammed, or to his doctrine.
- A follower of Mohammed; a believer in his doctrine 1777. Hence Mohammedanism 1815, Mohammedism, the Muslim religion 1614-1850.
Mohammedanism 1782 1815.
Mohammetanes 1615 meaning Muslims, from the French, Mahométan, Italian, maomettane.
Moslem, meaning Muslim, first recorded use in English in 1615, from the French.
- One who professes Islam; a Mohammedan.
- Adj. Of or pertaining to the Moslems, Mohammedan 1777.
Muslim 1615, meaning Muslim.
Mussliman 1615, meaning Muslim.
Musleman 1697, meaning Muslim.
Muslimon 1697, meaning Muslim.
Mussulmanish 1818 adj. from Mussulman.
Mahométisme Le, French (Ce mot fait d’islam ou eslam est de la creation de Barthélemy d’Herbelot De Molainville (1625-95) However, the term, Mahometisme is recorded by Pierre Bergeron before 1637.
Moslem, Musulman, Mosleman, French.
Musulmanisme (Le), French, The religion of Muslims, all employed in d’Herbelot’ Bibliothèque Orientale, 1697.
- often used of = Moslem or Mohammedan, 1548. Hence, Turk’s Head, before 1667 there was the Turk’s Head in Bishop’s Gate-Street London, where the first edition of John Milton’s Paradise Lost was sold.
Maure, since the 11th century, from Anglo-Norman, a Maure, is a Moor, belonging to the people of mixed Berber and Arab race and Mohammedan in religion. Hence Mauresque, a variant of Moresque. A term employed in armory, a Maure, the Moor’s head symbol. Shakespeare (1604), Othello, The Moor of Venice, – Othello, Le Maure de Venise. French 1835: Maure, transcription, messlème, messelmine p.; Mauresque, transcription, mécelma, mécelmiàte p..
Mauresque, 1830, “Mauresque, the style of building peculiar to the Moors and Arabs. See Arabian Architecture”.
Moor, Late Middle English (from about 1400 to about 1500). Later on belonging to the people of mixed Berber and Arab race, Mohammedan in religion, who in the 8th c. conquered Spain.
- also meaning, A Mohammedan, esp. one living in India 1588. Hence, John Borthwick Gilchrist’s, A Dictionary, English and Hindoostanee: In Which The Words Are Marked With Their Distinguishing Initials, As Hinduwee, Arabic And Persian. Whence The Hindoostanee, Or What Is Vulgarly, But Improperly, Called The Moor Language, Is Evidently Formed, Calcutta, Vol. I, 1787, and, II., 1790.
- A Negro; 1593-4, “a black-a-moor”, Shakesp.
Moor’s Head, 1731, “[in Engineery] a kind of bomb or grenado shot out of a cannon”.
Moor’s Head, 1731, “[with Chymists] a cover or cap of an alembick, having a long neck for the conveyance of the vapours into a vessel that serves as a refrigerator”.
Moorish, Late Middle English (from about 1400 to about 1500).
- also meaning, Mohammadan.
Moorman, 1698, in India, a Mohammedan.
Morisca, Spanish, Arabesco.
Moreskwork, in Spanish, s. Arabesco. “Mor’esk, and Mo’res (s. from Morisco). A kind of antique work in painting or carving done after the manner of the Moors. Mor’esk (adj. from the sub.) Morisco, Moorish, done after the manner of the Moors. Mor’eskwork (s. from moresk, and, work) A kind of antique work in painting or carving done after the manner of the Moors). Moris’co (s. from the Spanish) A Moor, the language of the Moors (Arabic)”. Moresken.
Morysse (1548) meaning moresk-worke.
Arabesk 1610, from French Arabesque. 1731, “Arabesk (so called from the Arabs (meaning Muslims), who used this kind of ornaments, their religion forbidding them to make any images or figures of men or animals) a term apply’d to such painting, ornaments of freezes, etc. which constituted wholly of imaginary foliages, plants, stalks, etc.. without any human or animal figures”) Arabique/Arabesque, Arabasques, sf. Pl. arabesks, whimsical ornaments, (in painting). Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary, “A’rabesque.* adj. [Fr. arabesque, Su. and Dan. arabisk. A word derived from the Arabs.] Relating to the architecture of the Arabs and other Mahometans; to the ornaments of foliage, plants, and the like, on their buildings; and sometimes used as distinguishing the lighter kind of Gothick architecture in general..”.
Arabesque 1656 A. adj. Arabian, Arabic 1842.
- 2. Mural or suface decoration in colour or low relief, composed in flowing lines of branches, leaves and scroll-work fancifully intertwined.
Arabique, Fr. 1756, “ARABIQUE. adj. lat. Arabicus. angl. arabick. Qui appartient à l’Arabe”.
Arabesken, pl. arabesky: Czech, applied to ornaments consisting of imaginary foliage, stalks, plants, etc. arabesco, rabeschi.
Rebeck-Rabask 1542 “a traile of Rebeckes” in the 1542 inventory of Whitehall refers to a trail of arabesques, which are also termed “rabask/rabesk/rebesk (-work)” in English texts. Rebeske worke; 1611, a small, and curious flourishing.
Eslam, 1697 “from the Arabic Word Salama, which in the Fourth Conjugation is Aslama, to enter into the state of Salvation, hence Eslam, the Saving Religion, and Muslimon, or as we call it, Musleman, he that believeth therein”. In Spanish by 1602. In French, employed in d’Herbelot’ Bibliothèque Orientale, ou, Dictionaire universel: contenant generalement tout ce qui regarde la conoissance des peuples de l’Orient, Par la Compagnie des libraires, Paris, 1697, 325, s.v. “Eslam, l’Islamisme ou le Musulmanisme…aussi Islam”.
Islamisme, 1697 “the Name whereby the Mahometans themselves most love to call it”. In French Islamisme, s.m. Mahométisme, French, 1697 d’Herbelot’ Bibliothèque Orientale, 1697, 325. Defined by l’abbé François d’Alberti Villanova (1737-1800) in his, Grand Dictionnaire françoise-italien, of 1840 as: “Nom que prend le Mahométisme. Il se dit aussi relativement aux pays Mahométans, dans le même sens que Chrétienté par rapport aux Chrétiens. Islamismo; Maomettismo; paese in cui si segue la Religion Maomettana”. In Spanish, Islamismo/eslamismo: la fe mahometana/el mahometismo.
Islam, 1613 (In French, employed in d’Herbelot’ Bibliothèque Orientale, 1697, 325, as later. From 1818 to describe the Mohammedan world.
Islâm, 1734, in George Sale’s translation of the Korân, “Verily the true religion in the sight of God, is Islâm”, Note to the verse, Islâm, “The proper name of the Mohammedan religion, which signifies the resigning or devoting one’s self entirely to God and his service. This they say is the religion which all the prophets were sent to teach, being founded on the unity of God”.
Islamize, to convert or conform to Mohammedanism.
To look for the term “Islamic art” in the work of English scholars before the term “Islamic Art” was first employed in the English language in the 19th c., without looking for the modern term’s earlier synonyms, is somewhat pointless, as is the case for the equivalents in French, German, Italian, Spanish and other European languages. Just because the term “Islamic art” was not used until the 19th c. in German, English, French etc., does not of course mean that the people who spoke these languages before the 19th c. did not recognise what we today term Islamic art, they described it in words and terms, but they employed other words and terms, than the 19th-21st c. term “Islamic Art”.
Some pre 1866 record from the nineteenth century of the recognition of that which is today termed Islamic Art, recognised as religious art, that was formerly termed: Arabian, Moresque, or Saracen-Saracenic art, Mohammedan, Mahommedan art, Mahometan art, Mussulman art, l’art musulman, Moslem art, Muhammedanische Kunst, Mohammedanische Kunst, die Kunst des Islam, etc.
1816 “the superb magnificence of the mosque at Cordoba, of the city and palace of Azzahru, and of the royal fortress and palaces of the Alhamra and Al Generalife, which have already been described, surpass everything that is recorded relative to the most splendid cities of antiquity. But, in reviewing the various remains of Arabian Art, it is a circumstance worthy of remark, that no people ever constructed so many edifices as the Arabs, who extracted fewer materials from the quarry”.
1824 “Saracenischen Styl”, at Tunis.
1830 “Those who wish to see a representation of Gutachuc may be gratified, in examining that fine composition in the last number of Captain Grindlay’s “Scenery etc. of Western India”; a work which evinces his love of the arts, in preserving from the universal destroyer some of the finest specimens of Hindu and Mahommedan art yet existing”.
1832 “The noblest remains of Mahommedan art in the S. of India are the ruins of the city of Bejapoor, styled by Sir James Macintosh ‘the Palmyra of the Deccan”.
1834 “arabischen Kunst”.
1835 “The arches above in the usual horse-shoe forms are four feet in the larger, and three in the lesser spaces. The ceiling of the portico is a splendid exhibition of the elaborate genius and intricate combinations of Moslem art. The stucco ornaments are laid on with unrivalled skill; the delicacy with which it is frosted in the handling of the ceiling boasting intricate beauties altogether inimitable. The capitals are of various design, richly decorated; but in the infinite diversity of its foliages and grotesques, there is remarked not the slightest imitation of animal life”.
1838 “Moorish, or Moresque Architecture, is a peculiar manner of design in building, which the inhabitants of Morocco, in common with most other Mohammedan nations, employed in mosques and other public edifices, and which appears to have previously prevailed in Persia and Constantinople. Its chief features were pointed, depressed, scalloped, horse-shoe, and ogee arches, lofty elongated cupolas, and a profusion of elegant tracery, and sculpted detail. In Spain it prevailed whilst that country was under the Moorish domination and many interesting examples of it remain in the Alhambra, at Granada”.
1840 “The noblest remains of Mahometan art in the country; it has been called the “Palmyra of the Deccan”.
1840 “The whole reign of the Ommiad Caliphs passes, in mental review, before us. Once the seat of Arabian art, gallantry, and magnificence, the southern kingdom of Spain (sic.) was rich and flourishing. Agriculture was respected; the fine arts cultivated; gardens were formed; roads executed; palaces erected; and physics, geometry, and astronomy, advanced”.
1840 “Cependant, si on ne s’y ren ait pas, il faudrait encore, pour admettre le système qu’elle combat, supposer que l’art chrétien ait pu accepter le symbolisme de l’art musulman; or, si l’on examine le plan et la décoration des cathédrales et des mosquées, et qui l’on compare les idées générales qui dominent dans la construction de ces édifices”.
1842 William H. Bartlett on the Tomb of Sultan Kaitbay, “The lofty minaret, with its successive stages, tapering gracefully to the summit, and encircled by galleries, is a beautiful specimen of this unique invention of Mahommedan art in its highest enrichment, and the dome is perhaps un-equalled for its graceful proportion and its delicate detail, the whole producing an effect at once grave, elegant, and fanciful; an original combination which no one at all affected by art, nor even one of ruder stamp, can possibly behold without a feeling of exquisite delight”.
1842 Joseph Gwilt, in Section X of his volume, itself entitled, Arabian, Moresque, or Saracenic Architecture, (indicating they are synonyms) “If the pleasure – perhaps we may say sensuality – of the eye is alone to be consulted, the Arabians (meaning Muslims) have surpassed all other nations in their architecture. The exquisite lines on which their decoration is based, the fantasticness of their forms, to which colour was most tastefully superadded, are highly seductive”.
“Though the late Sultan built a new palace in the Italian style at Constantinople, the Moslem will not easily relinquish a style intimately allied to their habits and religion, a style whereof, fig. 89, will convey some idea to the reader. He is also referred to figs 31, 32 and 33., as an example of the same style in Persia” .
1842 “l’art Musulman”,
1842 “…dans son état actuel, est loin de comprendre tous les pays où l’art musulman a marqué son empreinte; mais on peut dire qu’il renferme le tableau de ce qu’a produit de plus caractéristique l’architecture arabe et maure en Occident, depuis l’imposante mosquée de Cordoue jusqu’aux édifices frêles et enjolivés de l’Alger de nos jours”.
1842 “…, il est facile de reconnaitre le style qui marqua la premiére époque de l’art musulman dans la Péninsule”.
1847 “L’art chrétien, l’art arabe ou plutôt l’art musulman se sont développés sans distinction de bassins ou de climats, partout où ces deux religions ont modifié l’homme”.
1848 “For such buildings (the tombs of Europeans at Surat from the 17th c. onwards) Mussulman art afforded models, and these, being ready at hand, were adopted. These European tombs then are in a kind of arabesque style, being clumsy imitations of Moorish mausoleums. The expense of them must have been considerable”.
1849 “Mahommedan Art will be considered, as also Byzantine and Gothic. The book before us therefore constitutes the first part of this projected work”.
1850 “It was the time when the most celebrated monuments of the Arabian art were raised: the mosque of Cordova, – the Alhambra,- the Alcazars of Grenada and Seville”.
1850 “The two principal seats of government, which still exhibit striking remains of Arabian art, were Cordova and Granada:” “The remains of Arabian art still existing in Spain, together with the united testimonies of their historians, impress the mind with a high sense of their former grandeur”.
1851 “…hospitable quarters, with here and there symptoms of modern improvement and even refinement, setting forth to advantage the Sultan’s tombs, the fountains and other relics of old Byzantine and Mohammedan art and civilisation. Only let the barriers of religious animosities be fully overthrown, only let a Christian have his choice of a residence, and there can be no European so utterly destitute of taste as not to prefer a sojourn in free-breathing, whitewashed Stamboul to that of cramped, stifled, dingy, and dreary Galata-Pera”.
1851 “and like the decorations of Cairo, most probably have their source in Damascus, the common nursery of Mahometan art”.
1851 “But one more remained, which is justly considered the most splendid specimen of Moslem art, and could not, of course, be omitted: this was the great mosque of “Suleiman the Magniﬁcent”.
1851 “In this respect Byzantium served as a model to the image-hating Saracen art, and probably received many an impulse from her in return”.
1851 “doch unterscheidet sich die Kunst des Islam von der christlichen wesentlich durch den Mangel aller bildlichen Darstellung, namentlich menschlicher Figuren, welche die Religion streng verbot”.
1852 “These celebrated monuments of Mussulman art lie to the east of Cairo, – behind the crest of the same hill on which, more to the south, the citadel is built. They are thus severed and protected from the busy hum of the city, and standing as they do on the verge of the desert, form a small ‘city of the dead’ most appropriately situated”.
1853 “They do not at all accord with the character of Roman Architecture, and are much more analogous with Mahometan art”.
1855 “At Aleppo: “There are many mosques and tombs, which were once imposing specimens of Saracenic art; but now, split and shivered by wars and earthquakes, are slowly tumbling into utter decay”.
1855 “By far the most elegant mosque of this age -perhaps indeed of any period of Moslem art-is the Mootee Mesjid, or Pearl mosque, built by Shah Jehan in the palace of Agra”.
1855 “Every detail of the building itself could be made out with the utmost clearness, even to the many-coloured pillars of the arabesque paneling with which the sides are encrusted. The beautiful pulpit near one of the south gates of the platform- a perfect gem of Arabian art-was a favourite object of examination. Distance, in short, seemed quite annihilated; and, seated at our ease, we were enabled to enjoy the beauties of the enclosure, almost as much as if privileged to wander freely about it”.
1856 “The case is the same with Byzantine and Saracenic art, and with the great styles of Italy, especially the Trecento and the Cinquecento, in which all the most perfect schemes are purely conventional, or upon a strict geometrical basis, whatever the treatment of the detail may be”.
1857 “Arabian art is traceable to the demands of the new civilization and wider culture that Mohammedanism introduced. The Mosque of Toloon in Cairo, erected only 250 years from the establishment of Islamism, shows a style of architecture complete in itself, and betraying no signs of direct imitation of the Byzantine”.
Memoir of Mr. James Murphy, “The interesting but imperfect description of the remains of Arabian art, exhibited in the volumes of some modern travellers, as existing in the once renowned Mohammedan cities of Granada, Cordova, and Seville, excited in the author an ardent desire to visit them. He accordingly embarked for Spain, and arrived at Cadiz in May in the year 1802”.
- “On the 11th of March (1855), Broussa was visited by a shock far more destructive than that of the 28th of February. The greatest part of the city was levelled with the ground, and some of the finest monuments of Roman, Byzantine, and Mussulman art destroyed”.
1858 What to Observe in Syria and Palestine, “The mosks (sic.) of Syria are worthy of the artist’s attention, and perhaps also the architect’s. Many of the older ones are patched-up temples and churches, re-decorated with lying inscriptions, calculated to flatter the vanity of the Arab; but some are pure Saracenic art. Their fretted minarets, inlaid walls, deeply-recessed doorways, marble courts, and arabesqued interiors, are all models of airy elegance-graceful and fantastic as an Arab poet’s dream”.
1858 “While dwelling on the southern and oriental styles of Architecture, it may be well in passing to take review of Arabian or Saracenic art, which, although much influenced by the Byzantine, has nevertheless many independent features and characteristics in its composition. It is doubtless an offshoot from that of Byzantium, so modified by new forms and principles, as almost to have lost all similitude to its parent. The original (the Byzantine) had its birth in Christianity, and was scarcely, either in form or detail, adapted to the necessities of the worship of the disciples of Mahomet”.
1859 Prescott, on Medoza in exile in Granada from Phillip II’s court, “He devoted himself to the study of Arabic, to which he was naturally led by his residence in a capital filled with the monuments of Arabian art”.
1859 “Styl der saracenischen Kunst”.
1859 “On Monday, the 31st alt. (January) Dr. G. Kinkel delivered a lecture “On Mahometan art, illustrating the Influence of Byzantine Art on the Schools of the East, the development of the Arts of the Mahommadans in Egypt, Spain, and India, as seen in their Mosques and other Buildings and Decorations, by Dr. G. Kinkel.…In Cairo Mahometan art reached its greatest completeness, as far as regards plan, and displayed splendid roofs, rich gilding, and the pointed arch. In western Asia the pointed arch had been used shyly before the Christian era. The Arabs were not satisfied with the round arch: the pointed, as being more picturesque, suited them better, and they used it early. To them, he thought we owed it”. In the Sixth Report of the Department of Science and Art of the Committee of Council on Education: with appendix: presented to both Houses of Parliament by command of Her Majesty, Great Britain, Department of Science and Art, London, 1859, the title of the lecture is recorded as “On Mohammadan Art”, (38) not as advertised, “Mahometan art”.
1860 “The modern fashion of assuming everything Muhammadan to be of true Arabian art has misled art critics; and the undue importance that has been given to the degraded style of the Alhamhra (which is to mosques of the best Cairo time as late Perpendicular is to early English and Decorated Gothic), and to the bastard edifices of Mohammadan India,- because something is known about these and next to nothing of the true art – has induced the most erroneous conclusions”.
1862 For the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick the Second, Thomas Laurence Kington-Oliphant wrote, “Saracen art found more favour, than did the Greek remains, in Frederick’s eyes. He had many Sicilian palaces, the work of the Arabs, and we find him writing to forbid the planting of vineyards too near the curious Ziza at Palermo”. For mention of the Zisa as being an example of “Saracen art” together with the Kooba, Palermo, see the paper presented to the RIBA by Sidney Smirke, R.A., read Nov. 5 1860, entitled, “Recollections of Sicily”, published 1862.
1862 Of the explorer James Bruce, “Through Spain, through Portugal, he travelled, noting the remains of Saracen art,…”.
1864 “Die Kunst des Islam”.
1864 “welche den Styl der saracenischen Kunst”.
From the above quotations it is evident that that which is today termed “Islamic Art” was certainly not any new European construct of the late 19th and 20th centuries, as was stated by Blair and Bloom in 2003, a statement which has been repeated, cited and circulated since 2003, as is noted above. The terms that had been employed earlier by Europeans, such as: Mussulman Art, Mohammadan Art, l’art Musulman, Mohammedanische Kunst, Muhammedanische Kunst, Moslem art, etc., were not employed as “restrictive geographic or ethnic terms”, but were employed and are to be read, like Arabian Art and Saracen art, as being synonymous with todays’ terms: Islamic Art, l’art islamique, Islamische Kunst. Nor is the first use of a German equivalent of this term to be dated to the 1860’s, as had been stated by Oleg Grabar, and cited in 2006 in the MOMA exhibition catalogue, as is noted above. The first published use of the term, “die Kunst des Islam” dates from at least two decades earlier, from 1841 and “die Baukunst des Islams”, from 1842, if not earlier, as is noted above, while terms had earlier been employed in German that carried much the same meaning as noted above.
Perhaps the earliest of European terms employed to describe the Religious Art-the works of Islam, Islamic Art, as being work that has been made, (In the manner of ) The Lord
The term ‘arabesk’ was brought into English from the start of the 17th c., ‘arabesque’ employed in 1611, from 16th c. French, from the Portuguese and Italian ‘arabesco,’ a term which was in use in the 14th c., as later, ‘arabeschi,’ ‘orabesco”, and also, ‘rabeschi’. These words usually are recorded as meaning the Arabic or Moorish (i.e. the Muslim-Islamic) style of ornamental design, in Latin, arabico opera ornatus, arabicus ornatus, opus arabicum, that was understood to belong, in consequence of its frequent use of inscriptions in Arabic and its most considerable exclusion of the forms of humans and creatures, to the religion of Islam, i.e. meaning that which is today termed, Islamic art. It seems possible to speculate that the terms: arabesco, arabeschi, arrabesco, arabescato, orabesco, arabesque, and, rabesco, rabesca, rabescato, rabescare, rabeschi, rabesci, rabiscu, rabbesco, rabbiscu, rabesch, etc., may however, in their origin, not be related to the ethnic term Arab, as has been most frequently repeated, but may instead reflect the actual Arabic term that was employed by Muslims from before the 14th c. to describe to others, to non-Muslims, this type of work that is without figural images but often with script. This would therefore be an Arabic term which was translated into Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Sicilian, and a term which relates the name of this type of work to the Arabic word Rabb, meaning Lord, and which was then combined with the Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese suffix esco, hence, with the Arabic article, ar-rabb+esco, or, without the article, rabb+esco, terms which would, if this suggestion seems correct to those of greater competence in these matters, signify designs representing or associated in some way with the otherwise non-representable (except through letters), Allah, The Almighty. It is noteworthy that in thirty-three sūras of the Qur’ān the Almighty is referred to simply as ‘Lord’ (ar-rabb), and it was and is understood that with the Arabic article, ar-rabb the word could only refer to The Almighty. That is, it can be suggested, that the Arabic form of this term was employed to mean something like, in the Lord’s manner, or, in the manner satisfying the Lord’s requirements, that is, precisely meaning Islamic Art in the traditional sense, the work of those who have submitted to The Lord and from whom they have acquire their acts, as was stated in the 9th c. as noted above, “acts are created, and the single act belongs to two agents: one of them creates it, and that is God; the other acquires (iktisāb) it, and that is man.” Although the word ‘rabesco-rabbesco’ has been described by Italians and others as the ill-educated, or the mistaken writing of the word ‘arabesco’, it is the same word, just without the article, both representing the same religious term employed by the Muslim “other”, to thereby indicate the style or manner of art that is associated with The Lord, Ar-Rabb-Allah. In the first volume of the Italian-French dictionary of Nathanael Duez published in Venice in 1662, directly below the entry “Rabesco-Arabesque”, is the entry, “Rabi, rabbi, ou rabby, maistre”, but the suggested relationship between ar-rabb and Arabesco, rabb and Rabesco, was not noted. These descriptive terms have subsequently been understood in Europe through the guidance of the Catholic educated perspective, as being an ethnic term relating to the Arabs, or to the Arabic language, rather than being a Muslim term used before the 14th c. in describing the forms of decoration displayed on artefacts that are clearly acceptable to the object of Muslim worship, The Lord of the Worlds –al- rabbi l-ʿālamīn, decoration without representation of humans or creatures.
The word ‘arabesco’, occurs in Giovanni Boccaccio’s mid-14th c. Decamerone, employed to describe the abbot’s style of dress in the Tale of Saladin as a Merchant-Saladino mercante. It seems probable that Boccaccio employed this term in describing the abbot’s style of dress in a knowing and deliberate fashion for the reader. Ambrogio Calepino (1440?-1510) in his Latin lexicon records, “Arabesco. arabicus ornatus, opus arabicum”. In 1548 it was employed to describe the Arab-Islamic style of painting, “Molte alter uie ui sono di colorire à secco con colori, o con alcune stratie bollite in diversi succi. Cotesto è lo dipignere Arabesco usato da Mori, altri modi in charte, in cera, in uetro, cuoi, mà coteste sono semplicità, o folle fratesche da non conumerar nella pittura”. In Italian in 1612, “Arabicus. v. Arabesco” is recorded and also that Orabesco was a synonym for Arabesco, “Arabesco all’araba, e, al mondo arabo. Lat. Arabicus. Bocc.n. 99.45. Con muto ch’egli anesse la barba grande, e in abito arabesco fosse. E arabesco, orabesco, si dice a une sorte dipintura a fogliame, e intrecciatura de line, satta all’araba”. (Repeated in the 1697 edition, Indice Delle Voci e Locviooni Latine: “Arabicus. v. Arabesco”, and “Arabesco, all’araba, e, al mondo arabo. Lat. arabicus. Bocc.n. 99.45. Con rutao (sic.) ch’egli auesse la barba grande, e in abito arabesco fosse. Arabesco. Orabesco, si dice a una sorte dipintura a fogliame, e interciatura di linee, satta all’araba”). In 1611, “Caved or painted in Arab or Moorish ornamental design; strangely mixed or fantastic”. In 1646, “Arabesque, de façon, et de forme d’Arabe: Arabicus, a, um. Arabius. a. um”. In 1681, “Arabesco, o rabesco si dice a una sorte di dipintura a fogliame, e intrecciatura di liğnee, fatta all’araba”. And also, “Rabescare. Far rabeschi. Rabescato add. Fatto con rabeschi. Rabesco m.V. Arabesco”. In 1726-1727, “Arabe’sco, adj. (all’araba, al modo arabo) Arabian, Arabick” and, “Rabesc’are (onar con rabeschi) to adorn or embellish with Arabick work. Rabesca’to, adj. adorned or embellished with Arabick work. Rabe’sco, s. m. (arabesco) Arabick work”. In 1730, “Arabe’sk [so called from the Arabs, who used this kind of Ornaments, their Religion forbidding them to make any Images or Figures of Men or Animals] a Term apply’d to such Painting, Ornaments of Freezes, &c. which consisted wholly of imaginary Foliages, Plants, Stalks, etc. without any human figures”. As is likewise stated in Chambers 1738: “Arabesk”; “Arabesque, or Arabesk, something done after the manner of the Arabians. Arabesque, Grotesque, and Moresque, are terms applied to such paintings, ornaments of freezes, etc. wherein there are no human or animal figures, but which consist wholly of imaginary foliage, plants, stems, etc. See Grotesque, and Morisco. The words take their rise from hence, that the Moors, Arabs, and other Mahometans, use these kinds of ornaments; their religion forbidding them to make any images or figures of men or other animals”. In 1740 the synonym of Arabesco, “Orabesco” was employed in respect to the Qur’ān: “Convien ad ogni modo star saldo, e mostrare arditamente la fronte, con replicare in faccia a tutto il Mondo insolente: Non orabesco Evangelium (the Qur’ān). Io non mi vergogno dell’Evangelio di Cristo. (I am not ashamed of the Evangelium of Christ)”. In 1751, “Arabesques. On nomme ainsi des rinceaux ou branches de feuillages imaginaires, & autres ornemens de caprices, don’t on se sert quelquefois dans la décoration des cabinets, des grottes, etc. Ces ornemens sont appellés Arabesques, parce que l’invention en est attrbuée aux Arabes, qui suivant leur Religion, ne peuvent conformément aux autres Peuples Mahomeétans, représenter des figures d’hommes & d’animaux”; translated into Italian in 1768, “Arabeschi: fimigliantemente appellanfi alcuni rametti, o, branche di fogliami immaginarj, ed altri capricciofi ornamenti, de’quali alcuna siata fi abbellifcono i gabinetti, la grotte, e simili. Questi ornati detti sono Arabeschi per efferne attribuita agli Arabi I’invenzione, i quali la Religione loro seguendo, ficcome gli altri Popoli Maomettani, rappresentar non poffono figure d’uomini, ne d’animali”. In 1756, “Arabesque. Adj. lat. Arabicus. angl. arabiau. Qui est fait à la maniere des Arabes. Sorte d’ornement en usage dans la peinture & dans la broderie”. In 1765, “Arabesco, opus arabicum”, “rabescare, opera arabico ornare; rabesco, opus arabicum”. In 1766, “Arabesque or, Arabesk, something done after the manner of the Arabians”. In the definition provided by Facciolati in 1772 of “Ciamberlato”, “ornato d’intaglii rabesci, e simili. Arabico opera ornatus”, meaning, ornamented with arabesques. In 1775, “Ar’abesk (s. from the Arab.) A painting or ornament consisting entirely of foliage”. In 1790, “Rabbiscu, fregio format da foglie, e fiori, e per lo piu con tirate di penna, rabesco, arabesco. Arabicum opus. Presso P. MS. Si legge “Rabiscu opus Arabicum, pictura, cælatura, sculptura more Arabico. Apud nos quodlibet ornamentum sive in teconica sive ubicumque sit, e ramis foliis, floribus, & similibus concinne excurens ita appellatur Arabes namque, ii scilicet qui post Mahumedem fluxerunt quum hominum aut animalium figuras, nec conficere, nec retinere ex praecepto sui Alcorani possunt; hinc quodlibet simile opus ita excurrens sic appellatur. Dictum autem a vulgo fuit rabbiscu pro arabiscu, dempta per aphæresin primalirera ut atiam Ital. rabesco, & rangio, color, pro arangio”. In 1794, “Arabeschi ornamenti bizzarri e immaginarj in pittura, in scultura, e anche in architettura per decorare muri, pilastri, fregj, porte, volte ec. Il nome d’Arabesco viene dagli Arabi, I quali non potendo per la loro religione impiegar immagini di uomini nè di bestie, fecero uso di fiori, di fogliami, e di frutti per adornare gli edificj; introdussero questo loro gusto nella Spagna, da dove si diffuse per tutta I’Europa, e fu chiamato arabesco o moresco”; “L’armonia, ch’è il principio delle arti, deve osservarsi nella composizione, nell’esecuzione, e nella disposizione degli arabeschi. L’armonia delle idee è nell’ nnità del motivo, nell’intelligenza de’ dettagli, nel rapporto delle parti fra loro, e nel concefrto di tutti gli attribute e ditutti gli accessorj tendenti tutti ad uno stesso scopo. Cosi l’arabesco diviene una specie di linguaggio ed di scrittura simbolica” in 1794, “Arabesco, all’araba, e al modo arabo, arabigo. Arabico, o arabesco, arabigo”. In 1795, “Rabesca, o rabesco, lavoro, opus arabicum”. In 1798, “Arabesque, or, Arabesk, something done after the manner of the Arabians (from, Arabesco. Arabicum opus). Arabesque, Grotesque, and Moresque, are terms applied to such paintings, ornaments of freezes, &c. wherein there are no human or animal figures but which consist wholly of imaginary foliages, plants, stalks, & c. The words take their rise from hence, that the Moors, Arabs, and other Mahometans, use these kinds of ornaments; their religion forbidding them to make any images or figures of men or other animals”. In 1810, “Arabesco, fregio format da foglie, e fiori, aràpsko slikkovānje, cviche na aràpsku ispisāno, arabicus ornatus, arabicum opus”. In 1822, “Arabeschi, ornamenti bizzarri e immaginari in pittura, in scultura, e anche in architettura per decorare muri, pilastri, fregi, porte, volte ec. Il nome d’Arabesco viene dagli Arabi, i quali non potendo per la loro religione impiegar immagini di uomini nè di bestie, fecero uso di fiori, di fogliami, e di frutti per adornare gli edifici; introdusero questo loro gusto nella Spagna, da dove si diffuse per tutta l’Europa, e fu chiamato arabesco o moresco”. Robert Stuart in his 1830 publication describes the “Arabesque (fr.) a building after the manner of the Arabs. Ornaments used by the same people in which no human or animal figures appear, representations of these being forbidden by the koran. Sentences from the koran introduced as ornaments to buildings or apartments, occasionally interwoven with foliage and geometrical figures. Intricate lineal compartments and chiligon mosaics which adorn the walls, ceilings, and floors of Arabian buildings. The term is synonymous with Moresque, (which see)”. While Henry Neuman in his, A New Dictionary of the Spanish and English languages, of 1831 records: “Móres, Móresk, Mórisk, or Morisco, s. Arabesco. Móreskwork, s. Arabesco; dicese de ciertas labores, dibuxos, y pinturas al estilo de los Moros ó Arabes”. And, “A’rabesque, a. Arabesco, en estilo de los arabes, -s. Lemgua arabe ó arábiga”. In 1835, in F. C. Meadows, New Italian-English Dictionary: “Rabbesco, sm. Arabic work; wavy carved work. Rabbescone, sin. Great large arabesks. Arabescato, Arabesco,-a. adj. fancifully carved”. In 1838, “Arabesque, adj. m. f Arabesco: dicese de todo lo que tiene relacion á moda, gusto, ó labor. En este sentido se llaman con el n. s. y pl. de arabesques: arabescos, los adornos y labores de rasgos y follages hechos al estilo de los Árabes”. And, “Moresque, s. f. Arabesco: dícese de ciertas labores, dibujos, y pinturas al estilo de los Moros, ó Arabes”. In 1849, “Arabescato, Chiabr. Fr. 5. 63., v. rabescato. Arabesco, fregio format da foglie e fiori (Arab-Muslim frieze/design formed by leaves and flowers), arabicus ornatus, opus arabicum”. In 1851, “Rabbiscu, sm. Arabesco, lavoro a guise di foglie accartocciate, viticcioli, rabesco”. In 1869, “Arabesc, Arabesco, rabesco”. And, “Rabesch, rabesco (afer. di arabesco); fig. cosa o persona a rabesco, falla a capriccio”.
One may well wonder why some western scholars, such as Shelia S. Blair and Jonathan Bloom in this article of 2003, reprinted in 2011, with those of the school of Oleg Grabar in the 21st century, wish to deny the existence of Islamic Art, that which was formerly termed in Europe, arabesco, rabesco, rabbiscu, an Islamic work of design, described as made in the manner of The Lord, and which is today termed, ‘Islamic Art’ – to describe it as a “mirage” – to deny that which has been for more than six centuries recognised in Europe, understood, recorded and related as being a religious art, the theocentric art of Islam; to deny its unity and coherence, and, instead, in the 21st century to state that Islamic art is a western orientalist invention of the latter part of the 19th c. and to partition a whole into “distinct regional styles” an error previously displayed in Owen Jones’ Grammar of Ornament, of 1856, is one that resembles the practice of divide et impera, wa-llāhu alam, and God knows best.
However, what actually matters, and that which defines the Art of Islam, “Islamic Art”, “Arabesco”, “Rabbesco”, that is art that is (made in the manner of) The Lord, is the statement that is made through its use over a vast range of surfaces. This concerns the relationship between this worldly-temporal reality and The Reality, indicated in representation through script, the calligraphy of The Word, and, by the ever present tawrique, tawrīq, tezyînat, by the arabesco, rabesco, arabicus ornatus, the arabesque/orabesco, addressing the matter of representation and beauty for those who are worshipping The Formless, as is stated in Qur’ān Ash-Shuraa, 42:11, “Nothing is like unto Him.” And, thereby, in Islamic art, through the use and development of these two elements, through the display of The Word, and of certain design types that have been termed arabesque, that serve to conceal and so deny the physicality of temporal forms upon which the individual elements of the art/design are based; are brought together through the makers’ virtue in realising iktisāb, of the artist-craftsman’s submission to The Maker; and also, to a large extent, as has been noted for centuries by Europeans, works which for religious reasons largely excluded the representation of images of humans and creatures, thereby largely limiting, through deliberate choice, through both the inclusion and the exclusion of subjects within the work of design, and thereby denying the potential in naturalistic representation for the idolatry of worldly forms, this because for example the Prophet İbrahim-Abraham stated, “unto his father and his folk: What are these images unto which ye pay devotion?” Qur’ān Al-Anbiya 21:52.
 https://www.collegeart.org/pdf/artbulletin/Art%20Bulletin%20Vol%2085%20No%2 01%20Blair%20and%20Bloom.pdf
 Phaidon Press, London.
 Yale University Press, Pelican History of Art, New Haven, Conn.
 Oxford University Press.
 North 2012, 13.
 Burckhardt 1987, 222.
 This point was for example remarked upon by Peter Nicholson in 1854: “MOORISH, Moresque, Arabian or Saracenic Architecture: – The style of building indifferently designated by any one of the above titles, is that which was practiced by the Arabs or Moors, and which, owing to the migratory conditions of that race, and to their widely-spread influence, prevailed in many parts of the eastern continent. It is sometimes styled Mohammedan, for under the auspices of that faith it chiefly flourished; and amongst the edifices which Islamism gave rise to, are to be found some of the most magnificent and characteristic examples of the style.” Nicholson 1854, 208, and, “It is remarkable that while the Arabs were diffused so widely over the earth’s surface, the style of architecture adopted by them retained in every place a striking identity. It is true that differences of detail may be found in different places, as well as variety in application, yet in every country their buildings retain a very close resemblance. This similarity is to be accounted for probably by the peculiarity of their religious creed, which, wherever it is professed, diffuses a close uniformity of habits, manners and opinions…The style, which is eminently peculiar, would seem to have been a development of their religious creed; it breathes the very spirit of Islamism; it is sensual and voluptuous, and appeals to the gratification of the senses rather than to the higher and nobler faculties of the mind (sic.):…” Nicholson 1854, 209.
 Blair – Bloom 2003, 153.
 Daftari – Bhabha – Pamuk 2006, 10, fn. 3, citing Oleg Grabar, “ Grabar traces the first discussion of art as “Islamic” to Moriz Carriere, Die Kunst im Zusammenhang der Culturentwickelung und die Ideale der Menschheit: Die Kunst im Zusammenhang der Culturentwickelung und die Ideale der Menschheit, 5 vols, Brockhaus, Leipzig, 1863-73.” This date does not correspond to the first use of the term to describe art as “Islamic”, (see below). https://books.google. com.tr/books?id=9v9cj7uGZucC&pg=PA10&hl =tr&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=
 Having three years earlier, in their jointly edited 2009 publication stated in respect to what is termed “Islamic Art” that, “Throughout the Islamic lands, Jews and Christians (who were also known as “People of the Book” or dhimmis, tolerated minorities) shared the visual vocabularies of their Muslim neighbours, if not their faith, and it is often difficult if not impossible to distinguish a work of ISLAMIC ART made for a Muslim from one made for a non-Muslim. The use of Hebrew inscriptions is a sure sign of Jewish patronage, and indeed many of the craftsmen making “Islamic art” may have been Jews or Christians, despite the fact that it has been defined as the art made by artists or artisans whose religion was Islam, for patrons who lived in predominantly Muslim lands, or for purposes that are restricted or peculiar to a Muslim population or a Muslim setting.” Bloom – Blair 2009, II, 361. The idea that, “many of the craftsmen making “Islamic art” may have been Jews or Christians”, seems to be without established scholarly foundation. Some are recorded, such as the mosaic artists sent from Constantinople for Caliphal commissions, but the suggestion that “many of the craftsmen making “Islamic art” may have been Jews or Christians”, rather than the majority over the course of 14 centuries being Muslims, seems rather odd.
 8 march 2012 S. Blair, http://islamic-arts.org/2012/islamic-art/ Accessed March 2019.
 Arts of the Islamic World (article) | Khan Academy https://www.khanacademy.org /…/art-islam/…islamic-art/…/ar… Accessed March 2019.
 What exactly is Islamic Art? – The Muslim Vibe https://themuslimvibe.com /…islam/what-exactly-is-islamic-ar.. Accessed March 2019.
 The History of Art and Architecture in the Islamic World – Brewminate https://brew minate.com/the-history-of-art-and-architecture-i Accessed March 2019.
 Islamic Art | Art History Teaching Resources arthistoryteachingresources.org/les sons/islamic-art/
 Blair – Bloom 2003, 153.
 Holt 1957, 7.
 Such as was recorded by Henry Glassie over decades, e.g. Glassie 1993,119, as regarding the calligrapher, Mahmut Öncü and aşk.
 Schimmel 1990, 1. As likewise in sense, from R. A. Nicholson’s, Selected Poems from the Divani Shamsi Tabriz, XXX:
“My heart is as a pen in thy hand,
Thou art the cause if I am glad or melancholy”.
 Jones 1863, 18-19.
 Bennett 2016, 154.
 Huff 2017, 87-88, citing from McCarthy 1953, 12-13.
 “The acts of man are created and…a single act comes from two agents, of whom one, God, creates it, while the other, man, ‘acquires’ it…; and (according to this view) God is the agent of the acts of men in reality, and…men are the agents of them in reality” (Huff 2017, 88).
 Cited, Schimmel 1990, 86.
 Arberry 1977, 367-368.
 Excerpts from Fairchild – Ruggles 2011, 163-164.
 Austin 1970, 40-41.
 Arberry 1977, 38. For the earlier, Ismā’īlī Ikhwān al-safā position on the relationship of the crafts and the Almighty, see for examples, Ghabin 2009, 149-150, as, for this perfect art, or skilful art-craft, God likes him (the craftsman-artist).
 Qurʾān, Ali ‘Imran 3:19, “Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam”.
 It seems probable that al-Ghazālī meant here, “another art”, rather than, another possessing two arts/crafts, as translated.
 Homes 1873, 68-69.
 Samson 1867, 643.
 Op. cit. fn. 11.
 As with the use of the word “Turks” to mean Muslims, as by John Selden in the 17th c., “II. We charge the prelatical clergy with popery, to make them odious, though we know they are guilty of no such thing: just as hereforeto they called images, Mammets, and the adoration of images, mammetry; that is, Mahomet and mahometry; odious names, when all the world knows the Turks (meaning Muslims) are forbidden images by their religion” (Selden 1789, 111). Bailey 1731 s.v. “Alcoran, the Turk’s book of their law, or gospel, or the revelations and prophecies, etc. written by their false prophet Mahomet”. Also: “CE’CA (in Corduba in Spain) a religious house, from whence the Spaniards have framed this proverb, to go from Ceca to Mecca, i.e. to turn Turk or Mahometan”. Bailey 1731 s.v. “CECA”. As likewise the English expression “to turn Turk”, common from the 16th c. onwards meaning to “turne Mahometist”, to convert to Islam, to become a runagate, a word in common use from c 1530 to 1700, meaning a religious renegade from Christianity (the word probably from the Fr. renaégat, an apostate from Christianity) as in Sp. 1763, enacia’do, da, adj., applied to one who changes his religion or principles of any kind. So common an occurrence was it that in the commentary on The English Catechisme of 1621, one reads, No. 2, The Question. “Whether a man may change his name or not? …“And the same is the practice of the Turks at this day, if any man turne Mahometist, he receiveth a new name, as that famous, Prince, George Castriot of Epyrus, had his name changed into Scanderbeg” (Mayer 1621 npn. No. 2).
 Op. cit. fn.11. Meaning, Moritz Carrière, the German philosopher and historian, 1817-1895.
 There are exceptions before 1866, as in, The Athenaeum review of Owen Jones’s The Grammar of Ornament, where ethnic distinctions are drawn between Moors and Arabs, “Arabian ornament is, as we might have suspected, a strong point with Mr. Jones, who has only just doffed his turban. Arabian art is traceable to the demands of the new civilization and wider culture that Mohammedanism introduced. The Mosque of Toloon in Cairo, erected only 250 years from the establishment of Islamism, shows a style of architecture complete in itself, and betraying no signs of direct imitation of the Byzantine. In the distribution of masses, and ornamenting the surfaces of ornaments, the Arabs never equalled the Moors. They were more monotonous, and left gaps, from mere want of invention, or, perhaps from a greater rudeness and simplicity of taste. The twisted cord, the interlacing lines, the crossing of two squares, are the stock sources of Arab design” (Athenaeum 1857, 442).
 Review 1865, 653, “The second volume speaks of the influence of Arabic poetry on that of Christian Europe; also of Arabic art, chiefly architecture, and of the extinction of Arabic culture in Europe.”; likewise, “in Saracenic or Arabic Art…” Atlantic 1861, 81, i.e. it was known that “Arabic Art” and, “Saracenic Art” were synonyms, and these terms described a distinct art.
 Regarding Arabesque and Mooresque etc., these terms were recognised as belonging to the religion of Islam, “The words take their rise from hence, that the Moors, Arabs, and other Mahometans”, Chambers 1738 npn. s.v. “ARA”.
 Fowler 1850, 385.
 Tim Stanley writes, “Owen Jones (1809-74), who probably knew more about what he called ‘Arabian art’, and which we now call ‘Islamic art’, than anyone else in Britain at this time” (Stanley 2012, 195). After Owen Jones, Auguste Racinet remarked, “Before altogether leaving Arabian art, we must speak of what it became in the hands of the Spanish Moors. It is merely a continuation of our subject; for the Moorish style, with a few distinguishing peculiarities of its own, belongs to the Arabian family.”, i.e. Islamic Art=Arabian art and its various branches.
 E.g. the term “arabischen Kunst” occurs in August Pfeiffer, Antimelancholicus: oder Melancholey-Vertreiber, of 1684/6, 544; as later in, Stieglitz 1792, 196, “der arabischen Kunst”.
 Miss M. P. Merrifield writes “As to the date of the third book of Eraclius, it appears to me that it must not be considered earlier than the twelfth, or later than the thirteenth century. The allusions to the arts of the Saracens or Arabians in Nos. IX, XXXII., XLVI., and XLVII., prove that the work could not have been earlier than the ninth century, and the recipe for dyeing cordovan leather (No. XXXII.), in which the word “Warancia” occurs, affords a strong presumption that it was much later, in order to give time for the Moorish art to become known in those countries where madder was called by the above name” (Merrifield 1849, 176-177).
 “Recent travels in Upper India” From the Edinburg Review, Museum of foreign literature, science and art, Nov. 1833, E. Littell, Philadelphia, 563.
 Blair – Bloom 2003, 153.
 Lafever 1856, bk. I, 78.
 E.g. Handbuch der kunstgeschichte, von dr. Franz Kugler, Ebner & Seubert, Stuttgart, 1842, 393-414, where the term, “die Kunst des Islam” is repeatedly employed; Literarische Zeitung; in Verbindung mit mehreren Gelehrten hrsg. … 1843, 358“In der Kunst des Islam werden 1) die spanischen Monumente betrachtet; 2) die ägyptischen, syrischen, sicilianischen; 3) die der europäischen Türkei, vorzüglich die zu Konstantinopel, wo allein 346 Moschen erhalten sind. Unter denen 74 von höherer Bedeutung); 4) die indischen u. persisechen”; Conversations-Lexicon Für Bildende Kunst, erster Band., Romber’s Verl., Leipzig, 1843, 556, “Die monumentalen Zeugnisse dieser glänzendsten Periode der Kunst des Islam in Indien liefern die beiden Residenzen Delhi und Agra und deren Umgebung”. Likewise, Pütz 1851, where, die kunst des Islam, is translated as, The Art of Islam, 218.
 Jules Gailhabaud 1858, the term repeatedly used is, “l’art islamique”.
 Lübke 1864, 254-278. II. Die Kunst des Islam, translated as, History of Art by Wilhelm Lübke; translated by F. E. Bunnett, Smith Elder and Co., London, 1869, Vol.1, Chapter II. The Art of Islam, 331-354, idem, 1. Character and Artistic Feeling of the Arabians, 331-334.
 Papendink 1826, 52.
 Papendink 1826, 69. As was also noted in the same year by Elmes 1826, npn. s.v. ALH, On the Alhamra, “The ceilings and walls of all the courts are covered with fret work and that description of ornament from which the human figure is religiously excluded, called after the Arabs, Arabesque; together with series of minute and intricate combinations of geometrical figures, of which no verbal description can give an adequate account; but of which Mr. Murphy’s splendid work on the Arabian Antiquities of Spain, contains many beautiful engravings, and to which we refer the inquiring student”. As earlier in 1731 by Bailey: “Arabesk (so called from the Arabs (meaning Muslims), who used this kind of ornaments, their religion forbidding them to make any images or figures of men or animals) a term apply’d to such painting, ornaments of freezes, etc. which constituted wholly of imaginary foliages, plants, stalks, etc.. without any human or animal figures”), Bailey 1731, s.v. “ARABE’SK” as subsequently by Lacombe 1768, 21, as by Samson 1867, 643.
 Wornum 1851, III.
 Lane 1842, II, 2-3. It was of course the case, as was pointed out by Sir Thomas Arnold in his Painting in Islam: A Study of the Place of Pictorial Art in Muslim Culture, of 1928, that there were numerous figural works produced, not least those painted on the walls of hamam to serve psychological and therapeutic requirements, as is repeatedly noted in sources from the 9th c. onwards, including Abū Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyyā al-Rāzī, into the 14th c.: “On the ideal bath he writes, “It should contain pictures of high artistic merit and great beauty, representing pairs of lovers, gardens and beds of flower, fine galloping horses and wild beasts; for pictures such as these are potent in strengthening the powers of the body, whether animal, natural or spiritual. Badr ad-Din ibn Muzaffar, the Qādī of Ba’albak, says in his book Mufarrih an nafs (The gladdener of the soul): “All physicians, sages and wise men are agreed that the sight of beautiful pictures gladdens and refreshes the soul, and drives away from it melancholic thoughts and suggestions, and strengthens the heart more than anything else can do, because it rids it of all evil imaginings.” Some say, If a sight of actual beautiful objects is not possible, then let the eyes be turned towards beautiful forms, of exquisite workmanship, pictured in books, in noble edifices or lofty castles. Such is also the thought that Muhammad ibn Zakarīyā ar-Rāzī expresses and strongly urges on any one who finds within himself carking cares and evil imaginings that are not in harmony with the poise of nature; for he says, When in a beautiful picture harmonious colors such as yellow, red and green are combined with a due proportion in their respective forms, then the melancholy humors find healing, and the cares that cling to the soul of man are expelled, and the mind gets rid of its sorrows, for the soul becomes refined and ennobled by the sight of such pictures. Again, think of the wise men of old, who invented the bath, how with their keen insight and penetrating wisdom the recognized that a man looses some considerable part of his strength when he goes into a bath; they made every effort to devise means of finding a remedy as speedily as possible; so they decorated the bath with beautiful pictures in bright cheerful colours. These they divided into three kinds, since they knew that there are three vital principles in the body-the animal, the spiritual and the natural. Accordingly they painted pictures of each kind, so as to strengthen each one of these potentialities; for the animal power, they painted pictures of fighting and war and galloping horses and the snaring of wild beasts; for the spiritual power, pictures of love and of reflection on the lover and his beloved, and pictures of their mutual recriminations and reproaches, and of their embracing one another, etc.; and for the natural power, gardens and beautiful trees and bright flowers”. Arnold 1928, 88, with well-known examples surviving from the 8th onwards.
 Nicholson 1854, 210-211.
 There are also the invaluable collections of published Arabic loan words into English, such as: Cannon – Kaye 1994; Peters – Salloum 1996.
 S.O.D.3, s.v. “Saracen”.
 Johnson 1768 s.v. “CAM”.
 Percy 1846, 56.
 Corder 1998, 311.
 S.O.D.3, s.v. “Saracenical”.
 Anderson 1764, v. I., Bk. III., 42.
 Smollett 1772, 140.
 S.O.D.3 s.v. “Saracenical”.
 Cannon – Kaye 1994, 293.
 “During Holy Week in 1680, Hagarene (meaning Muslim) pirates looted and ravaged the coastal areas around Rafina and sacked The Holy Monastery of Pantokrator-Tao” (Ntaou) Penteli, near Athens, killing 179 monks. www.pantokratoros-tao.gr/…/4-the-martyrdom-of-the-holy-… Accessed 2019.
 S.O.D.3, s.v. “Ismaelite”.
 S.O.D.3 s.v. “Mahound”.
 Johnson 1768 s.v. “CAM”.
 Wornum 1851, xıx.
 Act III, Scene 5. “And then to have a wretched puling fool, A whining mammet, in her fortune’s tender, To answer ‘I’ll not wed; I cannot love, I am too young; I pray you, pardon me”.
 Trench 1881, 169.
 Bailey 1731 s.v. “MAH”.
 S.O.D.3 s.v. “Mahomet”.
 Johnson 1768 s.v. “ALE”.
 Britannica 1810, Vol. XI, 360.
 S.O.D.3 s.v. “Mohammedan”.
 William Jones, The Mahomedan Law of Succession to the Property of Intestates: In Arabick, Engraved on Copper Plates from an Ancient Manuscript, J. Nichols, London, 1782.
 Johnson 1768, s.v. “MUS”.
 Johnson 1818, s.v. “MUS”.
 Johnson 1818, s.v. “MUS;” “MUSSULMANISH, müs-sül-män-nish, adj. muselmännisch. – faith, der Islam, Hilpert 1831, 96.
 Claude Marie Gattel (1743-1812), Gattel 1840, T. II., (I-Z), s.v. “Mahométisme” 50.
 Bergeron 1735, Table des Chapitres.
 S.O.D.3 s.v. “Turk”.
 S.O.D.3 s.v. “Maure”.
 Britton 1838, 312, “Mauresque or Moorish Architecture”.
 Bussy 1835, 14.
 Bussy 1835, 14.
 Stuart 1830, Vol. II, s.v. “Mauresque”.
 S.O.D.3 s.v. “Moor”.
 Cited Johnson 1768 s.v. “MOO”, Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus (1593-94): [Aar.] “O how this … But what care I? I care not an she were a black-a-moor; ‘tis all one to me” (1.1.74-78).
 Bailey 1731, s.v. “HEAD”.
 Bailey 1731, s.v. “HEAD”.
 S.O.D.3 s.v. “Moorish”.
 S.O.D.3 s.v. “Moorman”.
 Blanc 1848, 380.
 Blanc 1848, 380.
 Ash 1775 s.v. “MOR”.
 S.O.D.3 s.v. “Arabesk”.
 Bailey 1731, s.v. “ARABE’SK”.
 Nugent 1797, 11.
 S.O.D.3 s.v. “Arabesque”.
 Blanc 1848, 31.
 Vocabolario 1612, 70.
 Dyche 1756, 67.
 Semler 2018, note in reference to Inventory, Whitehall Palace 1542, Item 60.
 Cotgrave, 1611 npn., s.v. Arabesque.
 Prideaux 1697, 19. Reprinted unchanged 1713, 1730. Cited, Johnson 1818 s.v. “MUS”.
 Prideaux 1697, 19. Reprinted unchanged 1713, 1730.
 Gattel 1840, Vol. II., (I-Z), s.v. “Islamisme” 50.
 Claude Marie Gattel (1743-1812), Gattel 1840, II., s.v. “Islam” 50.
 Britannica 1810, Vol. XI, 360.
 Murphy 1815, 18, 19. Also, Athenaeum 1857, 442.
 Shakespear – Horne, 1816, 280.
 Utert 1824, 501, “Unter dem Gebäuden zeichnen sich einige Moskeen aus, und der neue Palast des Bey’s, ein prachtvoller Bau, im Saracenischen Styl, mit großen Kosten aufgeführt. Der untere Theil ist mit einer Menge seltsamer Laden angefüllt, in denen die”.
 Who visited Bejapoor (Bijapur the former premier city of the Deccan), in 1808.
 Traveller 1827, 312.
 Transactions 1833, 152.
 Bell 1832, 564.
 Stieglitz 1834, 20, “Hierin bestand das Eigenthümliche der arabischen Kunst, das sie als einen besondern Styl betrachten läßt. Laborde stellt drei Zeiträume der arabischen Kunst in Spanien auf”.
 Jennings 1835, 246.
 Britton 1838, 321.
 Goodrich 1840, 942.
 Bucke 1840, 247.
 Bas 1840, 294.
 Bartlett 1849, 72.
 Gwilt 1842, 55.
 Gwilt 1842, 55-56.
 Kugler 1842, 393, 394, 395, 396, 398, 400, 404, 408, 414.
 Kugler 1842, 395, 401, 412, 438, 440.
 Mener 1842, 848.
 Aicard et al. 1842, 42, 44-46.
 Asiatique 1842, 339.
 Revue 1842, 464.
 Schnaase 1844, “Altchristliche und muhammedanische Kunst”; VIII.
 Schnaase 1844, 423.
 Lortot, 1847, 52.
 Calcutta 1848, 123.
 Art-Journal 1849, 67.
 Vericour 1850, 232.
 Horne 1850, 219.
 Urquhart 1851, 26.
 Wornum 1851, xıx.
 Beldam 1851, 361.
 Kugler’s handbook 1851, 58.
 Pütz 1851, 218.
 Athenaeum 1852, 403.
 Museum 1853, 467.
 Taylor 1855, 211.
 Fergusson 1855, 431.
 Bartlett 1855, 124.
 Wornum 1856, 15.
 Athenaeum 1857, 442.
 Nichols 1858, VI, 434.
 Tyrrell 1858, 111.
 Travellers 1858, Lx.
 Ashlar 1858, 349.
 Prescott 1859, 201.
 Kugler 1859 176-177. “Zu den frühsten Arbeiten gehört eiu Portal an der Grabkapelle Bohemunds zu Canosa, von Rogerius aus Amalfi gefertigt, mit reichern Ornanientstreifen, welche den Styl der saracenischen Kunst nachahmen, und mit zwei streng behandelten figürlichten Tafelen”.
 Builder 1859, 93.
 Lane 18605, Appendix F, 589-590.
 Kington 1862, 454, I.
 RIBA, 1862, 10.
 Celebrated men 1862 182.
 Lübke 1864, 254-278.
 Müller, 1864, 354. “Rogerius, Bildhauer aus Amalfi, blühte um ds 12. Jahrhundert. Er fertigte ein Portal an der Grabkapelle Bohemunds zu Canosa mit reichen Ornamentstreifen, welche den Styl der saracenischen Kunst nachahmen, und mit zwei streng behandelten figürlichen Tafeln”.
 Jens Kröger notes that Friedrich P. T. Sarre (1865-1945) used the terms, Muhammedanische Kunst, and, Islamische Kunst, “interchangeably” in 1910, regarding them as synonyms, Kröger 2010, 72.
 S.O.D.3 s.v. “Arabesk”.
 Cannon – Kaye 1994, 137.
 Facciolati 1772, 42.
 As also perhaps the Italian Piacenza dialect term, marlinga, listed in, Foresti 18552, 384, as “Marlinga, Rabescato, ornato con Rabeschi. Marlingadura, Arrabesco, Rabesco. Lavoro bizzarro dipinto, o scolpito rappresentate foglie accartocciate, viticci e simili”.
 The word rabb is a common noun in Arabic meaning “master”, or “owner”, but a hadith (narrated by Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah, Al-Bukhari, 2552) forbids slaves from referring to their master as lord, rabbaka, which must instead be replaced by master, saiyidl, in vulgar Arabic sidt, or, guardian, maulat, thereby suggesting the importance of this word in the 1st/7th c. A.D. The term as-saiyidl does not occur in the Qur’ān as a Name of the Almighty, ar-rabb does, hence for example the expression, The Lord remains The Lord and the servant remains the servant, ar-Rabbvabaa’ ar-Rabb, wa-l-‘abd vabaa’ al-‘abd.
 “Okunamıyan yazı-yazılmış yazı”, Mülayim 1983, 66, fn. 8.
 Deuz 1662, 315.
 The word Arabesk as employed in Turkish today derives from the French word Arabesque, 1. İsim, Arap müziğini andıran, genellikle karamsarlığı konu edinen bir müzik türü. 2.isim Mimarlık, Girişik bezeme:
“Kelimelerden birtakım arabeskler yapıyor. Bizim bütün divan edebiyatımız işte hep bu arabeskler, bu minyatürlerdir.”-Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu, http://sozluk.gov.tr/
 “L’abate, con tutto che egli avesse la barba grande ed in abito arabesco fosse, pur dopo alquanto il raffigurò; e rassicuratosi tutto, il prese per la mano e disse: Figliuol mio, tu sii il ben tornato”.
 Calepino 1718, 10.
 Pino 1548, 20. (“Cotesto è lo dipignere Arabesco usato da Mori”, -This is the Arab-like painting used by Mori, the Moors.
 Vocabolario 1612, 70.
 Vocabolario 1697, 8.
 Vocabolario 1697, 73.
 Cannon – Kaye 1994, 137.
 Monet 1646, npn. s.v. “ARA”.
 Baldinucci 1806, 5.
 Baldinucci 1806, 60.
 Altieri 1726, I., npn. s.v. “ARA”.
 Altieri 1727 II., npn. s.v. “R”.
 Bailey 1730, npn. s.v. “Arabe’sk”; Likewise, Bailey 17362, npn. s.v. “Arabe’sk”, “So called from the Arabs, who use this kind of ornaments, their religion forbidding them to make any images or figures of men or animals a term apply’d to such painting, ornaments of freezes, &c. which consisted wholly of imaginary foliages, plants, stalks, etc. without any human or animal figures”.
 Chambers 1738 npn. s.v. “ARA”.
 Segneri 1740, 63.
 Lacombe 1752, 34. (Arabesque, meaning foliage or branches of imaginary foliage, and other ornaments of imagination, are sometimes called, which are sometimes used in the decoration of rooms, grottos, etc. These ornaments are called Arabesques, because their invention is attributed to the Arabs, who, according to their religion, cannot, as is the case also with other Muslim peoples, depict the figures of men and animals).
 Lacombe 1768, 21, meaning: Arabesques: and similarly named, some twigs, or branches of imaginary leaves, and other capricious ornaments, these friezes embellish the cupboards, the rooms, and the like. These ornate designs are Arabesques, the invention to be attributed to the Arabs, which Religion they follow, like the other Muhammadan Peoples, they do not represent the figures of men or of animals.
 Dyche 1756, 67.
 Mandosio 1765, 16.
 Mandosio 1765, 177.
 Crocker 1766, npn. s.v. “Arabesque”.
 Facciolati 1772, 42.
 Ash 1775, npn. s.v. “ARA”.
 Pasqualino 1790, IV, 213.
 Milizia 1797, 45 (Arabesque, bizarre ornaments and imaginary, in painting, in sculpture, and also in architecture employed to decorate walls, pillars, friezes, doors, vaults, etc. The name Arabesco comes from the Arabs, who, being unable for their religion to employ images of men or beasts, made use of flowers, leaves, and fruits to adorn their buildings; they introduced this taste in Spain, from where it spread throughout Europe, and was called Arabesque or Moorish).
 Milizia 1797, 48 (The harmony, which is the principle of the arts, must be observed in the composition, in the execution, and in the arrangement of the arabesques. The harmony of ideas is in the unity of the motif, in the intelligence of the details, in the relationship of the parts between them, and in the conception of all the attributes and all the accessories all aimed at the same purpose. Thus the arabesque becomes a kind of language and symbolic writing).
 Franciosini 1794, 67.
 Vocab 1795, 554.
 Encyclopaedia 1798, 148. Likewise, Vincenzo Abbondanza wrote it was the silk arabesques that defined Damascus cloth in the 16th c.: “Erinomata per I suoi Drappi di Arabesco in seta, che per questo motivo hanno poi tutti di qualſivoglia paese reso il nome di Damasco, perchè oltre l’arte di ben lavorarli in essa furono inventati.” Abbondanza 1786, 110. etc.; as also, “the Moors, Arabs, and other Mahometans, use these kinds of ornaments, their religion forbidding them to make any images, or figures of men,, or other animals. Ed.” Golberry 1808, 236.
 Stulić 1810, 133.
 Milizia 18222, 48. (ARABESCHI, bizarre and imaginary ornaments in painting, sculpture, and even architecture to decorate walls, pillars, friezes, doors, vaults, etc. The name Arabesco comes from the Arabs, who could not use images of men or animals for their religion, made use of flowers, leaves, and fruits to adorn the buildings; they introduced their taste in Spain, from where it spread throughout Europe, and was called arabesque or Moorish).
 Stuart 1830, Vol. I., s.v. “ARA”.
 Neuman 1823 npn. s.v. “MOR”.
 Neuman 1823 npn. s.v. “ARA”.
 Meadows 1835, 259, 27.
 Taboada 1838, 59. (Arabesque, adj. m. f Arabesque: tells of everything related to fashion, taste, or work. In this sense they are called with the n. s. and pl. of arabesques: arabesques, adornments and works of traits and foliages that are fashioned in the style of the Arabs).
 Taboada 1838, 631. (Said of certain works, drawings, and paintings in the style of the Moors, or Arabes).
 Pasini 1849, 38.
 Biundi 1851, 239. (Rabbiscu, sm. Arabesque, work in the form of inter-twined leaves, vine tendrils, rabesco).
 Pasquali 1869, 27.
 Pasquali 1869, 452. (Figurative, thing or person in rabesco, do it at whim).
Akdeniz Uygarlıkları Araştırma Enstitüsü
T. M. P. DUGGAN (Lecturer)