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Magical Creatures in Islamic Art

Mythical creatures in Islamic art - at first sight an unusual topic, because our idea of ​​Islamic art is still too much influenced by the view that it is a largely non-figurative art, limited by a religiously 'prohibition of images'. Such a view ignores the complexity of Islamic art, which under certain conditions is well aware of figurative representations. Basically, it should be noted that a 'prohibition of images', especially in the Koran does not exist, it is rather derived from various critical statements of the Prophet to figurative representation, which are recorded in the later edited Hadith (sayings of Muhammad).
From the large repertoire of Islamic mythical creatures, the most important fabulous animals and hybrids Dragon, Simurgh, Double Headed Eagle, Sphinx, Griffon, Senmurv and al-Buraq - are presented here, whereby the term mythical creature was chosen because, as in the case of demons, it is not always about animals.
(from: Joachim Gierlichs, Dragon, Phoenix, Double Eagle: Mythical Creatures in Islamic Art [in German], Introduction)

The catalogue has long been out of print, but there are still copies that can be ordered from the author for a fee (12,00 € plus postage and shipping).

Monday, 08 July 2013