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10 February 2006


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Clearly the days are getting longer.


Trivia tangent --

Had read or heard that crankiness about images was largely an Arab thing , and that Persians and Central Asians - and eventually the Turks, were not as zealous. Couldn't find the source or the details. Did come across this, which was written in response to the Taliban hoods trashing the Buddhas.

Between Cult and Culture: Bamiyan, Islamic Iconoclasm, and the Museum, by F.B. Flood


"...but in the eastern Islamic world, depictions of the prophet Muhammad survive from the thirteenth century on. (30) In later paintings the Prophet is sometimes (but not always) portrayed with his face veiled or otherwise obscured ..."

(30) Priscilla P. Soucek, "The Life of the Prophet: Illustrated Versions," in Content and Context of Visual Arts in the Islamic World (University Park, Pa.: Penn State University Press, 1988), 193-217; and Robert Hillenbrand, "Images of Muhammad in al-Biruni's Chronology of Ancient Nations," in Persian Painting from the Mongols to the Qajars: Studies in Honour of Basil W. Robinson (London: I. B. Tauris, 2000), 129-46.

Couldn't find many images from the al Biruni (who came from what is now Uzbekistan) history, but came across these.


The first image, second row seems to be from the same work as the image PL posted, which is a 16th Century Turkish book (no title or author). If they are the same book, it raises the question: is some event in the life of The Prophet before which it is ok and after which it is no longer proper to represent his features?

I also wonder if the representation conventions are related to the practices of defacement and of veiling women.

We Americans have do a blind spot when it comes to "face."



Good Lord! what's the above doing here? It belongs in the "Muhammad Worshiping at the Kaaba" thread.

details. details.

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