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Human Figure in Islamic

Inheritances and Islamic Transformations

Series: Bibliotheca Iranica: Islamic Art & Architecture Series 11
Availability: In stock
Published: 2004
Page #: xii + 98
Size: 9x12
ISBN: 1-56859-111-X
plates, bibliography, index

 
$49.00

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Quick Overview

The present study is a first attempt to throw some light on the development of the human figure in the arts of Islam. It progresses chronologically, basing itself primarily on observation of paintings and sculptures in architectural decoration and minor arts. On the one hand it keeps in mind artistic conventions, but on the other it considers historical circumstances, that brought about changes in styles, iconography and visual concepts. The book is divided into five chapters. Chapter one deals with the Arab world traceing the depiction of the human image from its very beginning in Syria in the early eight’s century to the second half of the thirteenth century in Mesopotamia and its decline in early fourteenth century Egypt.

In the second chapter the survey turns to Iran (Persia). It begins with the Seljuq invasion into Iran, shows Mongol and other Eastern influences on paintings and figures, and ends with European tendencies in the Zand and Qajar eras.
The changes from Persia to India during the Moghul period and the painting under Jahangir and his successors are the subject of the third chapter, while chapter four deals with the human figure in Ottoman times.
Finally, the author raises the question of portraiture in Islamic art. In contrast to most scholars who dealt with the human figure she comes to the conclusion that real portraiture, which reflects not only the outer image but also the character of the represented personality, was extremely rare in this art. It caricatured a person, verbally and visually, but hardly ever drew his portrait. The book is richly illustrated and has an extensive bibliography.

Eva Baer

Preface
Introduction
Ch. 1 The Arab world.
Ch. 2 The Persian world.
Ch. 3 From Persia to India : the Mughal period.
Ch. 4 The human figure in Turkish art.
Ch. 5 The questions of portraiture in Islamic art.
Plates.
Bibliography.

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