Thursday, November 12, 2015

Painting a Slice of Islamic Art in Istanbul

I grew up in Delhi which is not only the capital of present day India and the capital during the later half of British rule, was also the seat of several Islamic empires, grand and small, during the medieval times. The neighborhood where I spent my childhood and early adulthood, I was surrounded by the monuments of that era from grand and small mosques to tombs of sultans and emperors. My awareness of the splendor of these historical remains grew into deep appreciation in college where I majored in Indian History at both undergraduate and graduate level. And I never lost that love.  Next to Asian art, Islamic art is my most favorite section in any museum.

When Istanbul, Turkey was chosen as the place to view and paint for this month's challenge at the Virtual Paintout, I was excited. Istanbul offers plenty of subjects to paint and I chose to paint one of the  distinctive Islamic  architectural features, arched lattice stone window, known as jhali. The building itself is pretty drab but I liked the windows. 

Below are some  beautiful examples of Islamic art and architecture from various American museums. Enjoy. (Photography by Indira Govindan.)

Linked to Virtual Paintout and Paint Party Friday.

Thanks for visiting.


  1. Beautiful art, we had an exhibition of Islamic art here some time back, it was very beautiful. Happy PPF, Hugs, Valerie

  2. The vases are my favorite! So beautiful. I love your replica of a traditional arched window. The colors and design are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  3. India is one of those countries I find myself drawn to. I think it stems from a mini series shown on TV in the '70's. I love the colors, designs, and rich tapestries. I looked at the building you painted and you are right, it is rather drab looking. I see the windows in a different light now that I saw you painting. You captured their intricate design very well!

  4. Love your painting Indira, and how fortunate for you to have grown up around so much culture and magnificent buildings. Thanks for sharing some gorgeous representations of Islamic art. Happy PPF!

  5. Spectacular photos! It is interesting to me that we see the same patterns emerge in different cultures, each putting their own "stamp" on the same pattern. Thanks for sharing. Happy PPF

  6. What lovely artwork. Your photos are fascinating.


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