Islamic Art

level2-islamicgallery

About the gallery

The Islamic Art Gallery presents objects produced by cultural environments configured by Islamic values and sensibilities.

The gallery showcases ritual, secular, courtly, and scientific objects that reflect Islamic values and sensibilities, inviting visitors to explore the rich variety and beauty of Islamic art. Exquisite works of religious art produced by and for Islamic faithful across Asia, with a main focus on Southeast Asia, show how global notions of Islamic art were adapted across the region to create unique visual forms that reflect indigenous influences.

Highlights

image highlight

Folio on Dioscorides’ De Materia Medica

Deccan, India
September 1595 CE
Watercolour on paper
40 x 25.7 cm
2009-01437

This folio is a Persian translation of the book De Materia Medica (medical material) by the Greek physician Dioscorides. Completed in the second half of the 1st century, it details the properties and preparation of medicinal plants. Originally written in Greek, the first Arabic translation was made in the 9th century in Baghdad, after which the work spread throughout the Islamic world, laying the foundation for the study of botany and pharmacology in West Asia. Arabic versions of Dioscorides’ text provided the basis for translations into Latin, Persian and Armenian.

image highlight
Folio on Dioscorides’ De Materia Medica

Deccan, India
September 1595 CE
Watercolour on paper
40 x 25.7 cm
2009-01437

This folio is a Persian translation of the book De Materia Medica (medical material) by the Greek physician Dioscorides. Completed in the second half of the 1st century, it details the properties and preparation of medicinal plants. Originally written in Greek, the first Arabic translation was made in the 9th century in Baghdad, after which the work spread throughout the Islamic world, laying the foundation for the study of botany and pharmacology in West Asia. Arabic versions of Dioscorides’ text provided the basis for translations into Latin, Persian and Armenian.

image highlight

al-Buraq

Philippines, Lake Mindanao region,
early or mid-20th century
Wood, paint,
112 x 101.5 x 110 cm
2010-00780

The Prophet Muhammad rode the Buraq to fly through the heavens in a single night (a journey known as Mir'aj). Although depictions of the Buraq appear in art of the Islamic world, sculptures of the creature seem to be unique to the Philippines. It is possible that the flourishing carving industry of religious images for Catholic Filipinos may have encouraged the making of such sculptures.

image highlight
al-Buraq

Philippines, Lake Mindanao region,
early or mid-20th century
Wood, paint,
112 x 101.5 x 110 cm
2010-00780

The Prophet Muhammad rode the Buraq to fly through the heavens in a single night (a journey known as Mir'aj). Although depictions of the Buraq appear in art of the Islamic world, sculptures of the creature seem to be unique to the Philippines. It is possible that the flourishing carving industry of religious images for Catholic Filipinos may have encouraged the making of such sculptures.

Video