Resource Section
History & Culture

Vegetal Patterns in Islamic Art

A variety of objects from the museum’s collection illustrate the concepts in the short but lucid background essay which tracks the development of vegetal patterns from Byzantine antecedents through an experimental diversity that culminated in a fully developed “Islamic style,” which was then further influenced by Chinese motifs and patterns after the Mongol invasion and a later naturalism. The authors make the point that “with the exception of the garden and its usual reference to paradise, vegetal motifs and patterns in Islamic art are largely devoid of symbolic meaning.”

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, Department of Islamic Art