Christian and Islamic Art The difference between Islamic art and Christian art is that Christian art is of human objects and forms while Islamic art portrays the meaning and reflection of things. Unlike Christian art, people do not appear on Islamic art. Unlike Christian art, Islam art does not include pictures and statues of Prophets and Gods. Christian art however, brings religious forms and images to life. It represents spiritual beliefs through illustrated scenes from the life of Jesus.
It gives us images of biblical episodes and even carries on stories and images of those now deceased. The Catacombs (Christian burials) represents the final resting place for Christians. It represents ultimate love, sacrifice and triumph. When I first entered into the Catacombs of Rome, I remember walking down into the catacomb and feeling bit nervous as I was surrounded by darkness. It was dark, humid, smelly and yet, so beautiful! There were religious carvings on the inside that almost looked like chalk drawings.
The clearest memory I have is visiting the section where the martyrs were buried and putting myself in their position. Would I have been so brave? In Islam, calligraphy is a major Islamic art form. Writing, books, geometry and patterns are most important. In Islam art, geography reflects the language of the world and most importantly, it reflects their spiritualism. A circle for example has no end and represents infinity. It represents never ending love. For Islam, the circle is a reminder that Allah is infinite.
My Muslim brother-in-law, born in Lebanon, doesn’t take pictures and explained to that in his culture, taking pictures of living forms is forbidden. They can take pictures of objects, but not of pets or humans. Of course, in my culture we save pictures for memory keepsakes. After 7 years of marriage, he agreed to take a family picture with my sister and their three sons. It was a huge sacrifice in his part but this also explains how art, religion and culture have an influence on each other.