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The Many Meanings of Art

One of the main themes of Week 6 was the various methods of Islamic art interpretation. For my project, I decided to sketch one of the most intriguing hidden images that  is used around the world. At first glance, it might seem as though it is a picture of an old woman with a draping over her head; however, if you take another look, you can also see a young woman looking away. The reason why I decided to draw this is because many different scholars have their own opinions about the interpretation of Islamic art. We discussed several of these scholars in section. For example, in Islamic Art and Spirituality, Nasr emphasizes the fact that Islamic art is connected to an artist’s spirituality. In other words, an artist’s spirituality is represented through his artwork. On the other hand, in The Topkapi Scroll, Necipoglu argues that the situation at the time influences a viewer’s perspective of the artwork. My own sketch can be connected to this theme. What makes the individual interpret the artwork as an old woman as opposed to a young woman? Is it because the individual had a spiritual moment that enabled him to only see the old woman? Or is the individual a victim of the harsh journey of love and sees the young lady because it reminds him of his ex-lover? At first, a piece of art might look one way; however, with a second glance, its interpretation can have a whole new meaning.


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