The most common motif in Islamic art of all countries is the arabesque. Muslim artists of all regions, Iranians, Turks, Indians and to the Moorish used the arabesque and provided new variants, although these always followed the original spirit. The arabesque may have been used as architectural decoration both inside and outside buildings, as surface decoration for objects such as stucco, carved wood, stone, pottery, glass, metalwork, book illuminations and so on. The arabesque did not suddenly come into existence ready-made at the time of the rise of Islam. It is the outcome of artistic movements from the pre-Islamic to the Islamic period. The classical origins of the arabesque were more fully explored by the art historians. Thus there are several opinions about the origin of the arabesque. In some studies they discussed the vegetal arabesque rooted in the classical palmette and tendril ornament, or claimed that the origin of arabesque is certainly derived from the classical foliage ornament. And it has also been defined as a style of decoration derived from Egypt and Mycenae. Another source of the origin of arabesque in early Islamic ornament is Sâsânid(224-642AD) art. It seems that no research has been fully carried out into the particular role of Sâsânid art in the development of the arabesque motif in Iran. Therefore, the main purpose of this article will be devoted to illustrating the role of Sâsânid art in the formation of the arabesque motif.
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