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Aniconism: The Absence of Figures

Aniconism: The Absence of Figures

Islamic art transformed many of the subsidiary elements of pre-Islamic art into major themes. The mosaics on the walls of the Great Mosque of Damascus, erected by the Umayyad caliph al-Walid in the early eighth century, show a paradisial riverside landscape of fantastic buildings separated by trees. In earlier times, such landscapes would have been peopled with figures.

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