Dissertation Defense: Evrim Emir
“Lifting the Veil from the Face of Depiction”: Middle Eastern Miniature Painting in light of Sufism and Phenomenology.Supervisor: Josef Früchtl
Drawing on Sufi philosophical concepts, Middle Eastern miniature painting flourished from the fourteenth century onwards before succumbing to Western political and cultural influence in the nineteenth century. As the art form itself disappeared, its products entered Western expositions, influencing artists such as Henri Matisse. In turn, twentieth-century Western art inspired its own philosophical tradition, mainly expressed in phenomenology. This study traces the connections between Sufi philosophy, miniature painting, Western abstract art, and phenomenology. Further, it offers an ontological assessment of miniature art in light of Sufi philosophy and a comparative analysis of the Sufi and phenomenological traditions of philosophy. The goal of the study is to expose the compatibility of Sufi and phenomenological approaches to art, and to employ both approaches in tandem to produce innovative readings of Middle Eastern miniature paintings.
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