Unit Three: Geometric Design in Islamic Art

Textile fragment

Textile fragment (detail). 14th century. Spain

After reading this unit, you will be able to:

  • understand the role of geometric design in the art of the Islamic world
  • recognize ways in which the featured works of art exhibit repetition, symmetry, two-dimensionality, and an illusion of infinity

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One of the defining characteristics of Islamic art is its abundant use of geometric patterns to adorn a wide variety of architectural and decorative surfaces.

Primary characteristics of Islamic geometric design include repetition, symmetry, and two-dimensionality.

Read in-depth information about featured works of art related to this unit.

A list of resources for additional reading, with grade levels indicated

A list of sources used to compile the information in this unit

Unit Three Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan: Geometric Design in Islamic Art

Students will be able to use a compass and straightedge to construct regular polygons, and recognize ways works of art from the Islamic world utilize geometric forms and relationships.

Jali (screen)

The lesson plan related to Geometric Design in Islamic Art features a sixteenth-century screen from India.