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Islamic Art Circle launch event

Thursday 13 October 2016, 6.00PM to 8:00pm

Speaker(s): Professor Robert Hillenbrand

The launch event, Storytelling in the Great Mongol Shahnama, will see Professor Robert Hillenbrand, author of ten books on Islamic architecture and painting, speak on the Shahnama – the national epic of Iran.

Professor Robert Hillenbrand is Professor Emeritus of Fine Art at Edinburgh University and Professor of Islamic Art at St Andrews University. He has written ten books on Islamic architecture and painting, edited seven books and co-edited four more. He has also published some 120 articles on aspects of Islamic art and architecture.
He has held visiting professorships at seven universities and was Slade Professor of Art at Cambridge in 2008. In 2006 he was awarded the Book of the Year prize of the Islamic Republic of Iran for Shahnama: The Visual Language of the Book of Kings. He has visited Iran many times, as well as travelling regularly to Central Asia, Northern India and the Middle East.


Tickets for the launch event available at


Further events will be held on Thursday 17th November and Thursday 1st December. Download the poster ‌for more details:islamic art poster (PDF , 74kb)

Location: Ron Cooke Hub


Exploration, Orientalism and Revival: The European discovery of Egypt’s Islamic Heritage

Thursday 17 November 2016, 6.30PM

Speaker(s): Professor Doris Behrens-Abouseif (SOAS, London)

Location: V/045, Vanbrugh College

William Holman Hunt: Pre-Raphaelite and Orientalist

Thursday 1 December 2016, 6.30PM

Speaker(s): Dr Nicolas Tromans

William Holman Hunt was one of the original members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, formed in London in 1848. According to his own account, Hunt was the only member of the group to remain strictly loyal to its founding principles of realism and precision.
This talk will explore how Hunt’s commitment to visual truth led him to become the most important and original British artistic interpreter of Palestine during the age of Imperialism. With characteristic determination, Hunt not only visited but lived in Jerusalem for extended periods, immersing himself in the turbulent religious politics of the period. These experiences led the artist to create landscapes, biblical scenes, and the iconic Scapegoat.
Hunt’s attitudes towards Islam and Islamic art were of course fundamental to his career in the Middle East. I will suggest that by looking at the case of Hunt, we are able to understand how ideas about Islam informed Western realism’s self-identity.
Please register for a free ticket.

Location: Please note change of venue- now in the Bowland Auditorium BS/005 in the Berrick Saul Building