Islamic Art in the Perspective of Research – Proseminar | Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem

Islamic Art in the Perspective of Research – Proseminar

Total Hours
Semester A
Course Day
Time 16:30 - 18:00

The study of visual art in the Muslim world was mostly carried out in the modern period by Western researchers who considered this art as a decorative one, whose content and message were mostly overlooked. We will discuss different concepts that led to a narrow view of a branch of art that developed throughout the Middle Ages and up to the present day: a distinct Orientalist concept that resulted from the conquest of the East and its subjugation under Western hegemony, alongside an intellectual curiosity of Western scholars who tried to understand the secrets of this civilization; Additional research approaches are those that have been developed in recent years by Muslim researchers who provide an interesting critical view of what is happening in the field. The use of historical research, based on an analytical analysis of primary sources, enables a deep understanding of the artistic products of the period and the civilization in which they developed. The course will allow students an intimate encounter with distinct works of art from the fields of Muslim visual and material art, and will provide tools for critical analysis of selected issues such as: Is the theological and political world of Muslim civilization reflected in material and visual art? The cultural boundaries that art draws between East and West, and how do artists in the Muslim world react and act in relation to this? How does art serve as a way to transmit cultural and ideological knowledge?