FIGURES
FIGURES
image
Velvet with lady in a niche, 17th century, India or Iran. Silk and metal lamella spun around silk, 143 x 69 cm. 37/1995

Introduction | Figures | Writing | Geometry | Vegetation | Hybrids

Many people think that Islam prohibits figural representation, but this is not true. The Koran, the Muslim scripture, bans idolatry, or the worship of images, so images are not found in mosques and other religious settings. But many Muslims—like people everywhere—enjoyed pictures of people and animals in their everyday lives. Sometimes figures are shown realistically, as in this beautiful velvet from seventeenth-century Iran or India, inwhich an elegant lady sniffs a flower in a garden surrounded by birds and animals. in other cases, the figures are more abstract, making it possible to interpret the representation in several different ways.