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Beauty and Islam: Aesthetics in Islamic Art and Architecture by Valerie Gonzalez

By Valerie Gonzalez

5 essays discover facets of aesthetics in classical Islamic notion in gentle of latest theories, supplying new views on Islamic artwork and structure with examples starting from the Qur'an and the Alhambra to the works of today's artists and philosophers. Tracing the roots of Islamic aesthetics again to the works of the philosophers of the center a while corresponding to Avicenna and Averroes, Valerie Gonzalez unearths that aesthetic idea in Islam has to be visible in the a lot wider context of parallel considering on theology, ethics, physics, and metaphysics. She balances her research of this philosophy (moral, logical, and clinical) of attractiveness with the both vital research of the perceptual event of good looks.

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Extra info for Beauty and Islam: Aesthetics in Islamic Art and Architecture

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As an object of thinking per se with its own ontological principles and logic. 7 Within this category of thought, the aesthetics of perceptual forms possess a specific status because, being concerned with the material world, it implies the particular phenomenon of visual perception. We will approach this problem along three distinct lines of enquiry. The first will consider the verse content in the light of the Solomonic mythology in general, through which the paradigmatic implications of the Qur’anic story for Islamic artistic tradition can be evaluated.

At this point in our account of Islamic metaphysics, we must emphasise that the influence it exerted on the medieval European thought developed by the Scholastics was so powerful that it contributed to the formation of a Christian aesthetics of light in the thirteenth century. 11 This Christian aesthetic of light was penetrated by Greek, Latin and Arabic ideas, and found expression especially in a seminal thirteenth-century work entitled Liber De Intelligentiis (Book of the Intelligences), attributed successively to the famous scholastic Witelo and a relatively unknown scholar named Adam de Belladonna.

In his book Demonizing the Queen of Sheba,4 Jacob Lassner analysed this tale from an anthropological standpoint, underlining its obvious philosophical and religious adaptability starting from Judaic scripture up to the last hermeneutic developments in Islam. However, the royal double myth contains another important dimension within the whole monotheistic tradition—the aesthetic dimension—which appears as particularly significant in the Islamic imagination. In the light of modern semiotics, together with other new tools for understanding scriptural materials such as phenomenology, sura al-Naml shows the strength of this aesthetic dimension in the legend of Solomon and Bilqís,5 while revealing the existence of a specific conception of art emanating from the Divine Word itself.

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