According to common belief, Islam has an absolute ban on images and is hostile to pictorial representations, quite in contrast to Christianity. But is this actually true? Are images categorically forbidden in Islam?
And what about Christianity: doesn’t Moses’s Second Commandment state “thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image”? With this in mind, how does one explain the existence of so many “Islamic” miniatures, ceramic bowls, and textiles bearing human represen- tations? And, on the other side, how does one account for the widespread and popular veneration of statues in Catholic churches? In other words: what is the ban on images in Islamic and Christian cultures actually all about?
This is the first time an exhibition deals with such ques- tions on a comparative, cross-cultural basis. It traces the strategies Islam and Christianity applied over the centuries to deal with aniconism. The 136 works on display cover a geographic area that stretches from Latin Western Europe to the eastern Mediterranean to Western Asia and as far as South Asia.
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Special exhibitions incl. collection: