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The Hidden Art of Islam

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Catalogue Number:  041730
Producer:  PBS Video
Subject:  Arts, History, Religious Studies
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin:  United States
Copyright Year:  2014
Running Time:  60

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Explore the tradition of figurative art at the heart of Islam with host Rageh Omaar. Muslim belief and tradition specifies that there should be no depictions of God or the Prophet Muhammad. In religious contexts, this constraint on what artists can depict extends to human figures and other living creatures as well. These prohibitions have inspired a rich visual culture based on calligraphy, Arabesque floral designs, and geometry, all of which feature strongly in the art and design found throughout the Muslim world, including mosques. With the help of fine art and religious experts, host Rageh Omaar (The Life of Muhammad) traces the effect of these beliefs over the centuries on the art and artists of the Islamic world and considers why depictions of pilgrims taking part in the Hajj pilgrimage have become part of the accepted tradition of Islamic art, including in work exhibited at the British Museum.

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