A Personal Reflection

David Wade

Further Notes on the Formation of the Geometric Mode in Islamic Art

Complex geometrical patterns are a well-known feature of Islamic art and architecture, together with its proclivity for highly symmetrical arrangements. But what are the origins of this mode? And what aspects of the Islamic ethos does this broad stylistic predisposition actually reflect? There is a natural reluctance among serious historians of Islamic Art to jump to facile conclusions on the evolution of Islamic decorative forms – which is understandable given the paucity of archaeological evidence. But clearly there must be a reason, and a compelling one, for the continuing use of strong symmetrical arrangements and highly geometric modes of decoration by the many nationalities and ethnicities within the Islamic sphere for well over a thousand years. The following observations (see index 1-9) revisit various aspects of this subject that have been touched on in the earlier Background Notes in order to delve a little deeper into this question.