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Andrea Lermer: Öffentlicher Raum und Publikum in den Illustrationen der »Maqâmât« al-Hariris im 13. Jahrhundert
Öffentlicher Raum und Publikum in den Illustrationen der »Maqâmât« al-Hariris im 13. Jahrhundert
(p. 57 – 74)

Public Space and Public Audience in the Illustrated Manuscripts of al-Hariri's »Maqâmât«

Andrea Lermer

Öffentlicher Raum und Publikum in den Illustrationen der »Maqâmât« al-Hariris im 13. Jahrhundert

PDF, 18 pages


Constitutive of the 50 equally composed stories of al-Hariri’s »Maqâmât« (literally »gathering, convention«) is a multitudinous, mostly anonymous audience. Its main character is the gifted speaker Abu Said, who, more often than not, makes surreptitiously a living from his speeches and sermons to people of diverse social strata. While the literary opus is chiefly concerned with the demonstration of a brilliant command of the Arab language, the illustrated manuscripts of the 13th century focus on the narrative situation and the portrayal of the mostly public audience.  Lermer’s contribution complements studies on the contemporary reception of the »Maqâmât« with some observations on how the setting of the real lectures are being mirrored in the imagined ones of the miniatures and vice versa.

  • iconography
  • Middle ages
  • art history
  • antiquity
  • Islamic art
  • painting
  • public sphere
  • Byzantium
  • observer
  • eye
  • gaze

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Andrea Lermer

received her Ph.D. in art history in 2002 from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. She has been trained as a museum curator in Munich and New York and is currently assistant professor at the Institute of Art History at LMU Munich. Her research interests lie particularly in the functions, mediality and iconography of late medieval European artworks as well as in the cultural contacts and artistic translations between Southern Europe and the Islamic countries.

Beate Fricke (ed.), Urte Krass (ed.): The Public in the Picture / Das Publikum im Bild

The invention of depicting figures participating in an event — nameless bystanders, beholders, and onlookers — marks an important change in the ways artists addressed the beholder of the artworks themselves. This shift speaks to a significant transformation of the relationship between images and their audience. The public in the picture acts as mediator between times, persons, and contents. The contributions of this volume describe this moment from a diachronic and transcultural perspective, while each of them focuses on a specific group of works revealing a new moment in this history. They explore the cultural contexts of the political and religious public, and relate the rise of the public in the picture to the rise of perspectival representation (Panofsky’s space-box and Kemp’s Chronotopos).