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      Rumi : A Life in Pictures

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          Studies illustrated 16th-century Ottoman manuscripts of a major hagiography of Rumi and his spiritual descendants Includes 70 colour images, showing all of the paintings from the three manuscripts, accompanied by a summary of the text illustrated in each picture Focuses on the specific relationships between literary narrative and its visual representation in late medieval Islamic art Provides Anatolian and Ottoman historical background as context for the life story of Rumi and the Mawlawi Sufi order Read an interview with the author about the process behind the book Picturing the life story of Jalal ad-Din Rumi, a premier Muslim mystic and the original Whirling Dervish, the images in three extant manuscripts of Aflaki’s Wondrous Feats of the Knowers of God provide a unique way to interpret the text. Part One: History and Context provides the medieval Anatolian historical setting; the broad contours of literary and artistic works of Islamic Hagiography; and the specific details of the three manuscripts to be explored. Part Two: Text and Image proposes a method for interpreting a hybrid literary–visual document as a grand narrative of the Family Rumi at the inspirational and ethical core of a virtuous community – flourishing within a complex Muslim society under divine providence. The images in the three manuscripts were produced by studios of painters under the patronage of major late 16th-century Ottoman sultans. The result of their efforts is a kind of ‘visualised hagiography’ uniquely capable of suggesting distinctive and often surprising twists on the narratives, enhancing the text with images of striking beauty and rich detail.

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          07 December 2021



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