:: Volume 4, Issue 17 (12-2015) ::
کیمیای هنر 2015, 4(17): 32-43 Back to browse issues page
Critical Remarks on “Mystical Aesthetics” The Case of Persian Painting
Mohammadreza Abolghassemi *
Department of Art Studies Faculty of Visual Arts Tehran University
Abstract:   (6797 Views)

There are several texts pertaining to Perisian painting which explain its aesthetics on the basis of mysticism and the notion of imaginal world. This point of view bears some methodological problems. Some of the prominent scholars (Corbin, Burckhardt, Nasr, Ringgenberg et al.) refering to Ibn ‘Arabi’s mystical notions, have tried to show that the specific aesthetics of Persian painting has been derived from the imaginal world. Our aim here is to show that establishing the aesthetics of Persian painting on the basis of imaginal world’s metaphysics lacks seriously the theoretical and methodological rigour. Firstly, Ibn ‘Arabi and his heirs’ conception of imaginal world was first of all ontological (hierarchy of Being) and epistemological (knowledge of God). Secondly, there is no overwhelming proof which could demonstrate that Persian painters were initiated to this notion. Thirdly, achieving the imaginal world through mystical intuition is conditioned by asceticism and purifying rituals, which were not necessarily familiar to Persian painters almost working in the court of Sultans. We will try to show that considereing these paintings in themselves is the genuine way to establish their aesthetics principles.

Keywords: Persian painting, mysticism, imaginal world, visual space
Full-Text [PDF 352 kb]   (3128 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2016/06/18 | Accepted: 2016/06/18


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Volume 4, Issue 17 (12-2015) Back to browse issues page