Islam and Western Arts

Art and architecture of Islamic countries has long influenced the West. A painting like The Reception of a Venetian Embassy in Damascus, in the early 16th century, was the work of an artist familiar with Damascus. And the 17th-century Dutch painter Rembrandt owned a collection of several Mughal and Deccani (Muslim India) paintings which he copied.

The influential publication of Von Erlach's general history of architecture in 1721 included Arab, Turkish and Persian architecture. This lead to the design of several European structures such as kiosks, pavilions, palaces, and theaters in an Oriental manner.

In 1750 the British Prince of Wales commissioned architect William Chambers to design an Alhambra, the Muslim palace in Spain, for his gardens. Chambers followed this with a pavilion in the form of a mosque based on Ottoman mosques. After visiting the Alhambra British architect Owen Jones designed two houses in Kensington Palace Gardens in this style.

European collectors were drawn to ceramics and tiles from the Islamic world. Collectors amassed Ottoman ceramics, as well as Persian luster tiles and vessels. This led to a revival of luster techniques in Europe.