Fine Art
by Aline de Leandro

Fine Art                     

Geometric Star Patterns and various Middle Eastern art styles

I have created these designs on paper using only a pencil, ruler and compass  (to stay true to the method used by the ancient Islamic artisans and mathematicians who created these patterns as far back as the seventh century).  Once the star is completed, it is reproduced a number of times over a dome, a wall, window, table, etc.  A video hereunder explains more about this type of art.


Watch a video of star patterns (narration of the history behind Islamic geometric art & images).

Was this the first modern clock ?

 Figure 1 hereunder is the basic geometric grid used to create a hexagon; the most common grid used by the early Islamic artists to make their star patterns.  If you look closely, it has the same outline as the modern-day clock/watch which is shown in Figure 2 below.

The Chinese, Greeks and other ancient civilisations kept time using all sorts of gadgets including sun-dials, water clocks, stone columns and hourglasses; all were cumbersome & heavy. 

The first mercury-powered automated clock was invented during Islam?s Golden Age by the mechanical engineer, Ibn Khalaf al Muradi, who wrote about it in his 'Book of Secrets' [Kitab al Asrar] in 1277.  Al Muradi had closely studied the work of the instrument-maker/astrologer/and leading astronomer, Ishaq Abu Ibrahim al Zarqali (1029-1087).  Al Zarqali had upgraded the astrolabe from the basic model designed by the Greeks.  The segmentation on the updated astrolabe was used primarily to map out the heavens [used for travel and especially to find the correct direction of Mecca for prayers].  As they had mapped the heavens and their star patterns, they gave them names resulting in the twelve houses of astrology [again on the same basic grid - as shown hereunder] (Surah 85:1 al Burj).  N.b. Nowadays, Islamic scholars prefer to ignore the astrology component [as it would mean 'divining', which in Islam is considered magic and therefore in conflict with the words of the Qur'an]. 

    Figure 1. Figure 2.

More Middle Eastern art/Islamic Art

Gouache on board & paper:

Solon and Students (reproduction after 13th century artist)

Bayad and Nihad (reproduction after 13th century artist)
Moghal Prince (reproduction)
Woman in kaftan