In the fourth chapter, the key points Burkhardt et al. are trying to make the Arab art Islam art. Arab art and Islamic art are intertwined in the language and history of Islam. Arabic calligraphy is the art of writing among Muslim artists. The Arabesque entails strict geometrical interlacing work and ornamenting in stylized plant forms. The sphere and the cube revolve around the geometric and rhyming element that clearly articulates the passages between curved and plane surfaces. From the alchemy of light, Burkhardt et al. argue that, as shown in the Koran (24:35), God is light, both of the heavens and the earth, and the divine light shines through things in the darkness. Art, through incorporating an understanding of divine light, Muslin art and artists that best utilize the concept of religious unity must transform every fashioned art into light vibration.
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The authors are not making any assumptions in the thesis—beliefs in any form of writing are associated with personal accounts of the authors’ giving. However, in theory, there are no personal accounts concerning the key points being illustrated. Further, by giving credit to outside information used while writing the literature, Burkhardt et al.’s work are without bias. Burkhardt et al.’s valuable concepts are Arabic art, founded on the seventh century’s Arabic thrust, are attributed to the conquered thoughts and expressions imposed on its language (Burkhardt et al., 2009, p. 44). In Arabic, a tree represents a verbal form of derivations linked to the tree’s root, meaning the endless hitherto dormant fundamental idea variations. The other concept being presented by Burkhardt et al. is that calligraphy realizes the styles associated with the proportion rule. Based on the realization, Burkhardt et al. show that calligraphy is often married to Arabesque. Among the happy combinations in Arabic art is Kufi, the unbroken flow of vine tendrils twining, vertical shafts.
Among the strengths attributed to the reading is one, the thesis gives a profound knowledge of Arabic art and goes into great depth to illustrate what makes the art distinct. Matching images to the displayed art makes it easy for the reader to establish the association between the painting and the literature to paint a clear picture of Burkhardt et al.’s thesis. The other strength of the idea comes from the knowledge that allows the reader to establish the link between the Koran and Islamic art (Burkhardt et al., 2009, p. 51). The weakness of the thesis lies in it giving only an account of comparing alchemy to the lead transmutation into gold (Burkhardt et al., 2009, p. 84). The idea should have made several other comparisons with other materials and uncovered several transmutations compared to alchemy.
The reading relates to previous lessons since, like the others, it gives an account of religion. The thesis briefly illustrates Christian art and, on a periphery, showcases the variations in symbolic character that distinguish between Islamic and Christian calligraphy (Burkhardt et al., 2009, p. 84). However, it illustrates how religion, language, and art marry to define faith. Further, the critical significance of the thesis is that, unlike previous readings, it gives the reader a deep understanding of literature that makes the language of Islamic art relevant to the religion. After reading the thesis, two key questions come to mind, with the first being, is there any other way the alchemy could have been compared? Second, what would have been the outcome should the thesis have given an account of comparisons with any other material?
Burckhardt, T., Nasr, S. H., & Michon, J.-L. (2009). Art of Islam: Language and meaning. Bloomington, Ind: World Wisdom.