Michelangelo meets Sinan: Representations of the Divine, Salvation and Paradise

The lecture seeks to explore the analogies of early modern Ottoman art aesthetics with the Renaissance in Italy through artists' thematic representations. The two artworks, Michelangelo’s fresco Last Judgement (1536-41) and Sinan’s use of the Iznik çini (tiles) in the Mosque Rustem Pasha (1560-61) respectively, physically manifest reflective intentions to inspire spiritual and inward contemplation, and to establish a connection between the individual and the Divine, seeking salvation and paradise in the afterlife.


SUGGESTED READING

  • Denny, Walter B. Iznik: The Artistry of Ottoman Ceramics. London, UK: Thames and Hudson, 2010.
  • Hall Marcia B. Michelangelo’s Last Judgment. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005.


COURSE OUTLINE
This lecture aims to re-orient the narrative of Sinan’s use of the fine art of Iznik tiles within the context of the Renaissance humanist paradigm. The lecture compares the fine art of Iznik çini (tile) of the Mosque of Rustem Pasha (1560-61) by the Ottoman imperial architect and artist Sinan with the monumental fresco of one of the giants of the Renaissance—Michelangelo’s Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican (1541). The alternative reading of these two works, as undertaken in this study, looks beyond the grand-scale production of the two works in order to examine the allegorical message they convey.


Such a comparison reveals a convergence of Renaissance mindset in Michelangelo’s and Sinan’s works from anagogical and eschatological paradigms based on the themes: ‘Salvation’, ‘Act of Judgement’, ‘Self-reflection’ and ‘Predestination’ as conveyed in the scriptures of the New Testament and the Qur’an, the story of the Mi’raj of Prophet Muhammad and Dante’s Divine Comedy. Additionally, it confirms the theological convergence between Christianity and Islam of the early modern period.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Appreciate the revisionist and global perspectives of the term ‘Renaissance’.
  2. Understand and discuss the major artistic works the two Renaissance contemporaries: Michelangelo’s Last Judgement and Ottoman imperial architect Sinan’s Iznik tiles in the Mosque of Rustem Pasha.
  3. Develop and extend their knowledge and understanding of cultural and artistic convergence of the early modern period between the Ottomans and the Latin West.
  4. Critically analyse the art historical symbolisms of the early modern Christian and Islamic aesthetics.
$75 Limited / $68

<p>The lecture seeks to explore the analogies of early modern Ottoman art aesthetics with the Renaissance in Italy through artists' thematic representations. The two artworks, Michelangelo’s fresco

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30 Sep

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