Caught in a Whirlwind: A Cultural History of Ottoman Baghdad as Reflected in its Illustrated Manuscripts focuses on a period of great artistic vitality in the region of Baghdad, a frontier area that was caught between the rival Ottoman and the Safavid empires. In the period following the peace treaty of 1590, a corpus of more than thirty illustrated manuscripts and several single page paintings were produced. In this book Melis Taner presents a contextual study of the vibrant late sixteenth-century and early seventeenth-century Baghdad art market, opening up further avenues of research on art production in provinces and border regions.
The Egyptian caricature is generally studied as part of Egyptian mass culture, and mainly discussed in the context of Egypt's anti-colonial resistance to British foreign rule, as part of the forging of a “national style". In Cartooning for a Modern Egypt, Keren Zdafee foregrounds the role that Egypt’s foreign-local entrepreneurs and caricaturists played in formulating and constructing the modern Egyptian caricature of the interwar years, that was designated for, and reflected, a colonial and cosmopolitan culture of a few. Keren Zdafee illustrates how Egyptian foreign-local caricaturists envisioned and evaluated the past, present, and future of Egyptian society, in the context of Cairo's colonial cosmopolitanism, by adopting a theoretical, semiotic, and historical approach.
Religious Art for the Urban Community
Barbara A. Kaminska
Barbara Kaminska’s Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Religious Art for the Urban Community is the first book-length study focusing on religious paintings by one of the most captivating Netherlandish artists, long celebrated for his secular imagery. In a period marked by a profound religious, economic, and cultural transformation, Bruegel offered his sophisticated urban audience complex biblical images that required an engaged, active viewing, not only sparking learned dinner conversations, but facilitating the negotiation of values seen as critical to maintaining a harmonious society. By considering the novelty of Bruegel’s panels used in convivia alongside his small, intimate grisaille compositions, this study ultimately shows that Bruegel renewed the idiom of religious painting, successfully preserving its ritualistic and meditative functions.