Museum Folkwang
  • Art of the Islam

  • The term Islamic Art describes art works made in countries from Spain to China and Indonesia when this area was, from the 7th century, part of the newly formed Islamic empire. From the beginning, Islamic art tended towards abstract or stylized motifs. It therefore preferred expansive two dimensional and abstract motifs. Harmony was constantly highlighted by Islamic artists and theoreticians and the predominant foundation for artistic beauty. In the depiction of equilibrium and order a possibility of expressing the nature of god was seen. Geometric patterns should, therefore, not be interpreted as purely decorative décor. Rather they are intended to reveal the beauty of God. In Islamic art, unlike in Europe, no three-dimensional and naturalistic decorative motifs could be used in the décor. This was not a religious concept of Islamic art but an exploration of its principles from a purely aesthetic standpoint.

    The large holding of Spanish-Islamic objects in the Essen collection is due to Karl Ernst Osthaus’s personal admiration for this artistic craftwork. In the winter of 1908/1090 he travelled to Spain, accompanied by an art dealer and Walter Gropius (1883-1969, an architecture student at the time, to acquire ceramics and others art because of its range of forms, its decor and glazing. The almost 500 examples of Spanish-Moorish art in the Museum Folkwang were acquired for the museum during this trip. Among them are many tiles, purchased individually or as tile panels, as well as twelve flat plates with their much admired luster décor, a glazing with metal alloy.

    Islamic glass
    Originally the collection contained glass objects from the beginnings of the craft in Egypt 3,500 years ago up to 19th-century pieces. The history of inspirations is often a history of happy chances. The iridescent effects of glass pieces from the Middle East, for instance, were not intended by the glassblowers: they appeared over time as a result of oxidation. Yet precisely these shimmering colours inspired Art Nouveau glass designers and ceramists in the Lorraine to develop new techniques.
  • Exh_Title_S: Art of the Islam
  • Exh_Id: 497
  • Exh_Comment_S (Verantw): Archaeology, Global Art, Applied Arts
  • Exh_SpareNField01_N (Verantw ID): 185
Schale mit seitlichen Griffplatten
  • Spain
  • Schale mit seitlichen Griffplatten, 17. Jh. – frühes 18. Jh.

  • Bowl with Flat Handles on the Side
  • Decor with central rosette, encircled by large crosses separated by detailed decor, on the outside feather-like brush patterns
  • Inv. K 161
Kleiner Teller
  • Iran
  • Schale, Frühes 14. Jh.

  • Bowl
  • Vessel interior divided into eight sectors by bands between double lines, outside shows blue verticle lines
  • Inv. K 198
Fliesenpaneel aus Fayencemosaiksteinen (alicatados)