Figurative Painting in Islam

Instructor: Esra Akın-Kıvanç

This seminar examines Islamic figurative painting on two levels: a purely aesthetic level, and a temporally as well as regionally specific level in which sociocultural and political factors define the value and meaning of the final product. Focusing on a select group of Arab, Persian, Ottoman, and Indo-Muslim masterpieces, we explore the Zoroastrian, Manichaean, Chinese, and Western aesthetic traditions that permeated Islamic art, and Muslim artists’ and patrons’ ways of negotiating figurative art within an aniconic Islamic visual tradition.