1-6 of 6 results  for:

  • Islamic Art x
  • Books, Manuscripts, and Illustration x
  • Art History and Theory x
Clear all

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Istanbul, June 11, 1938).

American historian of Islamic art. Atıl earned her PhD at the University of Michigan, with a dissertation on an illustrated Ottoman Book of Festivals. In 1970 she was appointed Curator of Islamic Art at the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, a post that she held for 15 years. An extraordinarily energetic and prolific curator, she organized many notable exhibitions based on the Freer collection as well as traveling exhibitions of Mamluk art, the age of Süleyman the Magnificent, and of the Kuwait collection of Islamic art. Between 1985 and 1987, Dr. Atıl was Guest Curator at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. With the opening of the Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institute in 1987, she was appointed Historian of Islamic Art at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, a position she held until her retirement in 1993.

E. Atıl: 2500 Years of Persian Art (Washington, DC, 1971)E. Atıl...

Article

Kirk Ambrose

(b Moscow, May 7, 1903; d Paris, Jan 25, 1988).

Lithuanian art historian, scholar of folklore and Egyptology, and diplomat of Russian birth. Son of the celebrated Lithuanian Symbolist poet of the same name, Jurgis Baltrušaitis II studied under Henri(-Joseph) Focillon at the Sorbonne and earned the PhD in 1931. The concerns of his mentor are evident in La stylistique ornementale dans la sculpture romane (1931), which reprises and extends arguments for the ‘law of the frame’ in Romanesque sculpture. Accordingly, the shapes of architectural members, such as capitals and tympana, determined the articulation of sculptural forms. This theory could account for the genesis of a wide array of monumental carvings, from foliate capitals to narrative reliefs, but ultimately it had a rather limited impact on the field of Romanesque sculptural studies. In a scathing critique, Schapiro argued that Baltrušaitis’s book—and by implication Focillon’s methods—robbed Romanesque sculptors of agency and neglected the religious and expressive meanings of this art form....

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Hamadan, 1906; d. Tehran, 1968).

Iranian librarian and scholar of Persian manuscripts. Bayani spent his early career as a teacher of Persian language and literature and as head of the public library of the Ministry of Education. He then directed the transferral of this library to the new National Library, which he founded and directed. He received his doctorate from Tehran University in 1945 and became head of the Royal Library in 1956, a post he held until his death. He also taught courses on the evolution of Persian scripts and codicology and founded a society for the support of calligraphers and the calligraphic arts. His biographical dictionary of Iranian calligraphers, Aḥwāl u āthār-i khushnivisān [Accounts and works of calligraphers] remains an invaluable research tool.

M. Bayani: Fihrist-i khaṭūṭ-i khwaṣ-i Kitābkhāna-yi Millī [Catalog of the special manuscripts in the National Library] (Tehran, 1949)M. Bayani with M. Bahrami: Rāhnamā-yi ganjīna-yi Qur‛ān [Guide to the Collection of Koran manuscripts...

Article

(b London, Feb 26, 1905; d off Stornaway, Feb 24, 1941).

British writer and traveller. His travels in Greece in 1925–7 resulted in two books, The Station and The Byzantine Achievement, in which he presented readers brought up on the culture of Classical antiquity with a novel view of the importance of the civilization of Byzantium and the seminal influence of its art on the later development of European painting. In The Birth of Western Painting he developed this line of thought with a reassessment of El Greco as the ‘last and greatest flower of Byzantine genius’. His best-known book is The Road to Oxiana, a record of travels through Persia and Afghanistan in 1933–4 in search of the origins of Islamic architecture and culture. He contributed a conspectus of Timurid architecture and photographs taken on his journeys to the Survey of Persian Art. Although his views were often coloured by personal enthusiasm and prejudices (for example his hatred of the historical writings of Edward Gibbon) a surprising number of his insights into Byzantine and Islamic culture have been confirmed by later scholarship, and he played a major role in bringing these cultures to the attention of educated readers. He was also a founder-member of the ...

Article

Sheila R. Canby

[Mīr ‛Alī ibn Ḥasan al-Tabrīzī al-Sulṭānī]

(fl c. 1340–1420).

Persian calligrapher. He is acknowledged as the inventor of nasta‛līq, a fluid, rhythmic and curvilinear script, but his life and identity are shrouded in confusion. In a treatise by the Timurid calligrapher Sultan ‛Ali Mashhadi, Mir ‛Ali is mentioned as a contemporary of the poet Khwaju Khujandi (d 1400), an older contemporary of the poet Hafiz (1325–90). Two calligraphers named Mir ‛Ali Tabrizi were active in the late 14th century: Mir ‛Ali ibn Ilyas, who worked for the last Jalayirid ruler of Baghdad, Ahmad ibn Uways (reg 1382–1410), and Mir ‛Ali ibn Hasan al-Sultani, described by his most famous student Ja‛far Baysunghuri as the ‘inventor of the archetype’, namely nasta‛līq script. The only surviving example of Mir ‛Ali’s hand is an incomplete manuscript (Washington, DC, Freer) of Nizami’s Khusraw and Shirin copied at Tabriz. The date of the manuscript is lost, but the style of its fine paintings, which are contemporary with the text, suggests it was copied between ...