Image, Likeness, or Parody; Portraiture in Persian Painting

Tuesday 14 May 2019, 6.30PM

Speaker(s): Sussan Babaie (The Courtauld Institute)

Portraiture, a well-established category in European arts, remains a contested and at times hotly debated subject in Islamic arts. As a cultural and artistic concept, portraiture faces resistance in the broader production of the arts in Islam, while it occupies an important place in the arts of the Persianate Islam in West, Central and South Asia. This talk takes note of the definition of portraiture in Persian literary and pictorial representations, in comparison to those of the earlier Arab and later Mughal examples. Focusing on the Timurid and Safavid (15th-18th centuries) cultural understanding of portraiture, my main argument takes note of the subtle distinctions between a likeness (shabih) and a complicated set of meanings attached to the term surat (visage/face/depiction). Those distinctions, I argue, are crucial in the making of pictorial signs and to the understanding of portraiture in Persian painting.

 

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Location: The Treehouse, Berrick Saul: PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A CHANGE TO THE ORGINALLY ADVERTISED VENUE

Admission: Please reserve your free ticket using the link provided