Mary and Jesus or Maryam and Isa?

It was Christmas time in the city, and the virtual Twitter city provided wonderful samples of art, sometimes Christian, sometimes Islamic, depicting nativity scenes or Christmas-related subjects. Once again, a tweet reminded me the subtle distinction between Islamic art, Islamicate art, art produced in Islamic lands, art improperly called Islamic Art.

Arabic script before Islam: questions

The following considerations are based on Prof. Laila Nehmé’s presentation (Leiden, Dec 9th, 2014)  Recently the University of Leiden has organised a study day on the Qur’anic text. The day was organised following the recent dating of the parchment of a Qur’anic manuscript via C14, that gave an astonishing result: the parchment dates between 650 and…

Corto Maltese and Islamic Art

Every student of Arabic and Islamic culture, art, philosophy… that has spent at least one month studying or doing research in Venice has read the wonderful graphic novel by Hugo Pratt Favola di Venezia – Sirat al-Bunduqiyya. And of course I did when I was studying there. On Dec, 4th (2014) a video-game based on the novel…

Social Media & Islamic Art: a survey

After few months spent dealing with Islamic art in social media, we are more and more interested in understanding what people like about Islamic art and how people use social platforms to get information about it. We thus launched a survey.

Islamic Art Auctions, Fall 2014 – Some notes

Sometimes researchers tend to close themselves in an ivory tower made of books, articles, journals and objects of art (in my case inscriptions), without considering how the world outside actually relies on money. Also art and art history in some sense. A couple of weeks ago, at Bonhams, the last auction of Islamic Art of…

When Islamic art is everywhere and context is nowhere

There is a great misinformation and decontextualisation relating Islamic art. The first problem being what Islamic art is. Quite a tricky problem. But now I don’t want to concentrate on this particular issue: in this post when I talk about Islamic art I mean the art developed in an Islamic context…ok…it is even trickier. Let’s say that…

A free encyclopaedia of Islam (and Islamic art)

Few days ago, maybe one week, I started wondering: is there an open-source and serious encyclopaedia on Islamic history and Islamic art? Apart from partial and biased interpretation on the history of Arab-Islamic countries, and not 100% reliable sources (wikis), the only way to get free good information on Islamic history is hoping that your…

Twitter and Orientalism: the taste for the exotic in digital era

Orientalism and the 19th century, Orientalism and the exotic taste, Orientalism, England and France, Orientalism and Edward Said… that’s something that everyone interested in Islamic study has read and studied. It is something that some professors (at least, my professors) have always depicted as wrong, misleading, something to overcome: when dealing with Islamic studies you should…