Analysis of composition and visual space islamic motifs

Analysis of composition and visual space islamic motifs

Analyzing the composition and visual space of Islamic motifs requires considering several key elements:

Geometric Motifs:

Types of motifs: Arabesque, interlace, girih, and star polygons are some common geometric motifs. Each type has specific characteristics and symbolic meanings.

Repetition and variation: Islamic art often employs repetitive patterns with subtle variations, creating harmony and rhythm while avoiding monotony.

Interlocking and modular designs: Motifs often interlock and combine seamlessly, creating intricate compositions without apparent beginnings or ends.

Visual Space: 

Emphasis on plane surface: Islamic art traditionally avoids depicting figures, prioritizing the ornamentation of surfaces. This creates a sense of flatness and infinity.

Hierarchical organization: Larger motifs often frame smaller ones, creating a clear visual hierarchy and guiding the viewer's eye.

Symmetry and balance: Symmetry is emphasized both vertically and horizontally, fostering a sense of order and peace.

Negative space: Empty spaces between motifs are not considered "empty" but integral to the composition, contributing to balance and breathing room.

Additional Factors:

Calligraphy: Arabic calligraphy is often integrated into the motifs, adding another layer of meaning and visual interest.

Material and color: The choice of materials (tile, stucco, wood) and color palettes influences the overall visual impact and atmosphere.

Cultural context: Understanding the specific historical and cultural context of the artwork provides deeper insights into its symbolism and purpose.


The Alhambra in Granada, Spain, exhibits intricate geometric compositions with interlocking girih patterns and flowing arabesques.

The Great Mosque of Damascus, Syria, showcases the use of calligraphy within geometric motifs, creating a harmonious blend of art and scripture.

Remember: This is just a starting point. A detailed analysis would require specific examples and consideration of their unique features.


Massoud Najabati

Massoud Najabati


Massoud Nejabati was born in 1967 in Tehran. He completed his bachelor's and master's degrees in graphics from the Faculty of Fin ...