Muqarnas and the baroque

Two ways of dissolving yourself in the universe. Baroque altars and muqarnas. But how far are at the same time the intricate shapes from the clamorous scenes that the baroque offer. The baroque was an exaltation of the senses through emotions, immersing in the world, and then in observing the world, appreciating the creation and the divine. Thus the exaltation and the emotions break the forms while flooding the spectator with materiality, materiality twisted by the power of the inner world. The muqarnas, in the path of the geometric abstraction, are the evolution of a crescent complexity of patterns that somehow get translated to the architectural space, breaking the flatness of the drawing and evolving in those cascades of shapes. But they are also part of an understanding of the world in the same spirit that the baroque in which the profusion of the shapes ends dissolving the very essence of them, unifying them perceptually in something greater, namely, the intuition of the divine. But the connection between baroque and muqarnas is not as alien as it could seem, and the evolution that links them is nothing new in the historiography of art, as a lineage could be followed in the stylistic evolution in Spain, from Mudejar and gothic fusion to a slow move to the churrigueresco, leapfrogging somehow the renaissance influence, which itself somehow always found difficult to install itself in Spain. This lineage, as understandable as can be, however, in nonetheless surprising, given the cultures that gave birth to each of them.

But then in the muqarna, it is the play of geometry and the nature of light and shadow that makes the whole structure work. Geometry is an exploration of the physical world as well as an intellctual exercises. Making lines and eplicating the relatonship between them. Here two interesting excerpt on the art of building geometry by Eric Broug (Escher and Islamicand David Sutton