Art History I
December 17, 2012
The Influence of Different Religions into the Development of Art
The development of the relation of religion to life has been parallel to the development of art. Art always and everywhere has been a medium through which people have sought to express their religious beliefs, or a vehicle through which societies have sought to have their religion represented. Most part of the artworks produced in the past thousand years and more have had a massive religious content, whether, celebrating or representing Biblical narratives or seeking to express a human sense of the divine (Pateman, 1991).
Much of it is the work of artists laboring to church commissions - ...view middle of the document...
For instance, traditional scenes in the temples and tombs centered on rituals carried by the king towards the gods, where the king and his servants adored beneath their gods or god (Sun) (Hartt, 1989). The ancient cultures artworks are clearly inspired by the devotion to their religious concepts, their rites, their belief in the gods and goddesses and the power that the divine holds onto their lives.
Art through the ages has been the most effective way to transmit theological ideas. The philosophy of Christianity has become an important part of the cultures in which it is practiced, to such an extent that the history of Western culture would be unrecognizable without the influences of Christianity. As any other world religion, Christianity has extended its influence to many works of art. Artists used their artworks to express their own faith or to describe Biblical events and views on Christianity. Often, their works were designed to have a special effect on the viewer. Some works of Christian art are devotionals, designed to make the viewer think deeply about faith and beliefs, other works are intended to teach the viewer about the biblical passages like the Adam and Eve fresco. Some works are dramatic and emotional, used to make the viewer feel a sense of love, fear, or respect for Christianity, a good example of it is the painting The Last Judgment and some artworks like Baptism of Christ show Christian rituals (MIA, 2012).
Unlike Christian art, Islamic art isn't restricted to religious work, but includes all the artistic traditions in Muslim culture. The art of the Islamic world reflects its cultural values, and reveals the way Muslims view the spiritual realm and the universe. As it is not only a religion but also a way of life, Islam fostered the development of a distinctive culture with its own unique artistic language that is reflected in art and architecture throughout the Muslim world (MET, 2001).
According to the Islamic faith, art could not depict living beings and therefore its art rarely has any human or animal depictions but has arabesque, calligraphy, ceramics and floral designs. Instead of portraits or stories from the Qur'an, mosques and manuscripts are adorned with flourishes of Arabic calligraphy, delicate tile work, layers of gold and intricate floral decorations. The calligraphy, it is the art of writing which had a great intellectual and religious importance in Islamic art since writing the holy verses was considered to be the most sacred duty a Muslim can have so they devised a new way of writing the verses (Arabesque) and the Islamic architecture is pronounced in the architecture of the mosques, their domes and hypostyle became the trademark of Islamic art ( Hartt, 1989).
Other religion that quickly spread through Asia and Middle East (primarily) is the Buddhism, which originated in the Indian subcontinent in the centuries following the life of the historical Gautama Buddha in the 6th to 5th century BCE, before...