Posted on: 26 September 2013

New Book:
Images of Thought: Visuality in Islamic India 1550-1750
By Gregory Minissale
Published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing -2009

With many illustrations and diagrams, 'Images of Thought' provides easy to follow ways in which to read Indian, Persian and European paintings in terms of composition, proportion, colour symbolism and references to myth. Yet it also provides the intellectual contexts of Islamic cultures which inform our perceptions of how this visual language works. The author uses salient aspects of critical theory, anthropology and theology to sensitise viewers to the diversity and difference of cultural readings but never loses sight of the primacy of the visual and formal characteristics, gestures, geometrical structures and their cooperation with myths and theologemes. The book provides access to one of the world's major visual traditions whose characteristics continue to inform and elucidate Indian and Islamic contemporary thought today. 'Images of Thought' is a major, scholarly and provocative contribution not only to our understanding of cultural individuality but it offers important examples of how to engage in transcultural understanding and ways of seeing.

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Hanuman approaches Rama and Lakshmana in the guise of an ascetic
Folio from the Ramayana of Valmiki (The Freer Ramayana), Vol. 1, folio 140; recto: text; verso

Painted by Fazl
Mughal dynasty

Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper
H: 27.5 W: 15.2 cm
Northern India

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