The tradition of Middle Eastern miniature painting between the fourteenth and nineteenth centuries aimed at mirroring the innovative and life-giving qualities of divine creation and was unconcerned with Western artistic preoccupations such as verisimilitude. Ironically, the decline of the miniature tradition in the Middle East was followed by its 'discovery' in the West, where it influenced the work of artists like Matisse and the Fauves, who wanted to break with the Western emphasis on verisimilitude. This new Western art went on to inspire its own philosophical tradition formulated by phenomenologists like Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty. Evrim Emir compares this to the way Middle Eastern painting drew on concepts expressed by Sufi thinkers.
N.E. Emir: Lifting the Veil from the Face of Depiction. Middle Eastern Miniature Painting in Light of Sufism and Phenomenology.
Prof. J. Früchtl
Dr M.A. Barry (American University of Afghanistan)
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