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

By Valerie Gonzalez

5 essays discover elements of aesthetics in classical Islamic notion in gentle of up to date theories, providing new views on Islamic artwork and structure with examples starting from the Qur'an and the Alhambra to the works of modern-day artists and philosophers. Tracing the roots of Islamic aesthetics again to the works of the philosophers of the center a long time reminiscent of Avicenna and Averroes, Valerie Gonzalez unearths that aesthetic thought in Islam needs to be obvious in the a lot wider context of parallel pondering on theology, ethics, physics, and metaphysics. She balances her research of this philosophy (moral, logical, and medical) of good looks with the both vital research of the perceptual adventure of attractiveness.

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42 Edgar de Bruyne rightly says: Around 1200, translations of the De Perspectiva or De Aspectibus (On Perspectives) by Alhacen (al-Haytham) are copied: he affirms the spherical diffusion of light, as a mathematician he develops the theory of the luminous ray’s reflection and refraction, and, as a positivist, the psycho-physiologist doctrine of visual sensation. Alhacen exerts a great influence on Grosseteste and Bacon and the perspectivists like Witelo and Jean Peckham. 1455),44 who took as one of his sources—if not his main source—Ibn al-Haytham’s conception of observable beauty, defined in terms of objective visual qualities.

And because it was selected as a model, the aquatic element forms, in the aesthetic language of the glasswork, not a subject, nor an objective iconography, but a reference. The concept of reference in the visual arts is governed by a specific logic that distinguishes it from the concept of subject. If the latter takes full part of the ontological status of the artistic object it specifies as a constitutive element, the former constitutes a potentiality, that is to say that basically the reference is a potential element of the visual language.

Through this path of meditative introspection, the individual abstracts himself from imperfect and limited matter in order to reach the pure essences, or pure splendour, as Ibn Sínå explains: If we isolate ourselves from the body, we will be, with the help of our meditation, our own essence (dhåta-nå), and it (our essence) will be able to become an intellectual world in harmony with true beings (al-mawjïdåt al-˙aqíqiyya), true beauties (al-jamålåt al-˙aqíqiyya) and true delights (almaladhdhåt al-˙aqíqiyya), joining with them as two intelligibles join together.

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