|The Art of Illuminations
Illumination is an art of ornamentation painting that makes much use of gold. Illuminators were sometimes called gilders. Color was also very important and the favorite colors other than gold were lapis lazuli and red. Tinted paper in pale pink, pale gold or deep cream further added to the enchantment of the design. Variety, form of angles, interlacing patterns and delicacy of line further pointed to the mastery of incompetence of the artists.
This art was greatly depended on the to development of the Qur'an and religious manuscripts. Only later did it become an additional decoration to other media such as miniature painting, calligraphy, book cover designs, title pages and frontispieces. Early Qur'ans lacked illuminations. Gradually surah headings and divisions between verses became illuminated in form of gold resettes, sun, roundels with finials and other such designs. By 13th century. AD artists had obtained complete command of the various geometric patterns, sometimes interlaced, used in illumination. These patterns appeared in vertical, horizontal, starlike or sometimes circular formats on half, full or double page compositions. By 15th century AD naturalistic motifs in form of floral patterns and scrolls were added to these compositions. Furthermore, these patterns were used on other objects as textiles, tiles, carpets, and metal pieces.
Illuminations is one aspect that can be truly called an Islamic form of painting, for it evolved into a style that can be considered universal from Spain to India.