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Yuka Kadoi

Term that refers both to the act of marking lines on a surface and to the product of such manual work. Whether it is summary or complete, a drawing is defined less by its degree of finish or support than by its medium and formal vocabulary. Manipulating line, form, value and texture, with an emphasis on line and value rather than color, drawing has been employed for both practical and aesthetic purposes. The language of drawing has been used to record, outline and document images that the draughtsman has observed, imagined, recalled from memory or copied. As in other art traditions, drawings in the Islamic lands record painters’ and designers’ practice. The history of drawing in the Islamic lands is intimately entwined with the history of paper, which was introduced to the region in the late 8th century but only became widely available to artists at a much later date, perhaps as late as the 12th century or 13th....


Term used for any systematic technique that renders the illusion of recession behind a two-dimensional surface (including receding lines, gradients of color, tone and texture, degrees of clarity etc.). Until the late 13th century, such pictorial elements in the painting of the Islamic lands as figures, landscapes and buildings were used as mere space-fillers and did not depict depth or distance. The Mongol invasions brought from China to West Asia a new mode of depicting space, and painters began to suggest a sense of depth by means of different ground levels with indications of grass and pebbles (e.g. Manafi‛-i Hayavan [“Usefulness of animals”] of Ibn Bakhtishu‛; Maragha, c. 1290; New York, Pierpont Morgan Lib., M.500). This formula was developed by the painters of the Rashidiyya scriptorium (see Islamic art, §III, 4(v)(b)) in favor of a wider space, a convention which was visibly inspired by Chinese hand scroll painting in the large horizontal format. The use of shading also helped to enhance a sense of three-dimensionality. A new interest in space appears in the painting of the Jalayrid (...