What is 'Islamic' Art?: Between Religion and Perception

What is 'Islamic' Art?: Between Religion and Perception

by Wendy M. K. Shaw


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Revealing what is 'Islamic' in Islamic art, Shaw explores the perception of arts, including painting, music, and geometry through the discursive sphere of historical Islam including the Qur'an, Hadith, Sufism, ancient philosophy, and poetry. Emphasis on the experience of reception over the context of production enables a new approach, not only to Islam and its arts, but also as a decolonizing model for global approaches to art history. Shaw combines a concise introduction to Islamic intellectual history with a critique of the modern, secular, and European premises of disciplinary art history. Her meticulous interpretations of intertextual themes span antique philosophies, core religious and theological texts, and prominent prose and poetry in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu that circulated across regions of Islamic hegemony from the eleventh century to the colonial and post-colonial contexts of the modern Middle East.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108474658
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 10/10/2019
Pages: 382
Sales rank: 742,740
Product dimensions: 6.85(w) x 9.84(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Wendy M. K. Shaw is Professor of the Art History of Islamic Cultures at the Freie Universität Berlin. Her work focuses on the impact of coloniality on museums, archaeology, preservation, and historical, modern, and contemporary art, with emphasis on the Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Turkey, regions of Islamic hegemony, Sufism, and transregional art historiography. She is the author of Possessors and Possessed: Museums, Archaeology, and the Visualization of History in the Late Ottoman Empire (2003), and Ottoman Painting: Reflections of Western Art from the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic (2011).

Table of Contents

List of figures; Preface; Note on transcultural communication; Introduction: from Islamic art to perceptual culture; 1. The Islamic image; 2. Seeing with the ear; 3. The insufficient image; 4. Seeing with the heart; 5. Seeing through the mirror; 6. Deceiving deception; 7. The transcendent image; 8. The transgressive image; 9. Mimetic geometries; 10. Perspectives on perspective; Conclusion: out of perspective; References; Index.

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