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Color Catalogue of ‘Islamic Piety Images’ Available Online

A revised and enlarged version of the color catalogue of the very well received exhibition “Islamic Piety Images from the Maghreb to India” organized by Prof. Yahya Michot is now accessible online at this link. The Seminary’s Library hosted the exhibition from Sept. 30 until Oct. 12, 2016.

The so-called ban on figurative representations in Islam did not prevent Muslim societies from creating a fascinating religious iconography. Thanks to the printing press, the twentieth century witnessed a huge production of such images and posters, sometimes of great format, in both Sunnī and Shī‘ī communities.

These “native coloured lithographs,” as Duncan Black Macdonald (d. 1943) called them, could be bought in Tunis and Cairo, Istanbul, Tehran or Delhi, and decorated many Muslim homes. A number of them are not reprinted anymore and belong to an almost extinct form of popular Islamic art.

The fifty-six prints reproduced here are part of Prof. Michot’s collection and cover six dimensions of the rich universe of Islamic popular imagery: 1. God and His Messenger; 2. The Holy Cities; 3. Stories of the Prophets; 4. The Twelve Imāms; 5. The Friends of God; 6. Epic Days.

These prints were exhibited in the Hartford Seminary library as part of hARTsem DAYS, a celebration of arts and spirituality at Hartford Seminary. The present work is a revised and enlarged version of the catalogue published in twenty copies on the occasion of this exhibition.

 

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