Shrine of Hazrat Ali, also know as the Blue Mosque, 15th century, Mazari Sharif, Afghanistan. Photo by Michal Hvorecky, Creative Commons license via Wikimedia Commons.

Just a Second: Horror Vacui

Horror vacui (noun)

Fear or dislike of empty space in the visual arts.

 Many accuse artists from the Ancient Egyptian era to Jackson Pollock of suffering from horror vacui.  The term frequently is used to describe Islamic art in which all surfaces are covered with decorative color and pattern.


Ceramic tile ceiling decoration in the Nasr ol Molk, Shiraz, 19th century, Iran, photo by dynamosquito, Creative Commons license via Wikimedia Commons.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art will open their newly renovated galleries that showcase their extensive collection of Islamic art on Tuesday, November 1, 2011.  Click here for the coverage in the New York Times.


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