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Sacred Art in East and West

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  34 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
Defining the meaning and spiritual use of sacred art through its symbolic content and dependence on metaphysical principles, this work is wide in scope, covering Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, and Taoist art.
Paperback, 217 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by Fons Vitae (first published 1958)
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A.
Jun 26, 2016 A. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Burckhardt shows here a summary of what make art sacred, namely being a medium for contemplation, and knowing it's place.
Also, sacred art doesn't use a material for what it is not, for example, a rock (to be sculpted) is a static thing, not made to represent movement. A surface (to be painted) is two dimensional - therefore the absence of optical illusions and "tricks".

I have always found the likes of Picasso and others to be highly annoying, seems like I begin to understand now why... This make
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Benjamin Smedberg
The body of this book is interesting and I learned a lot from it, but the author's introduction is the most extraordinary gem. It gave me a much better understanding of the purpose of sacred art than anything I have read before or since.
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Titus Burckhardt (Ibrahim Izz al-Din after his Islamic name), a German Swiss, was born in Florence, Italy in 1908 and died in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1984.He devoted all his life to the study and exposition of the different aspects of Wisdom tradition.

He was an eminent member of the "Traditionalist School" of twentieth-century authors. He was a frequent contributor to the journal Studies in Compa
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“Toutefois, l'architecture musulmane connaît également un plan concentrique, celui du mausolée recouvert d'une coupole. Le prototype de ce plan se retrouve aussi bien dans l'art byzantin comme dans l'art asiatique, où il symbolise l'union du ciel et de la terre, le soubassement recangulaire correspondant à la terre et la coupole sphérique au ciel.” 1 likes
“Le costume viril musulman est une synthèse des vêtements sacerdotal et monastique et affirme en même temps la dignité virile. C'est le turban qui, d'après les dires du Prophète, indique la dignité spirituelle, donc sacerdotale, de même que la couleur blanche des vêtements, le manteau aux larges plis et le haïk enveloppant la tête et les épaules. Certains vêtements propres aux habitants du désert ont été généralisés et "stylisés" dans un but spirituel.
Le caractère monastique, par contre, s'affirme dans la simplicité du costume musulman et dans la prohibition plus ou moins rigoureuse des bijoux d'or et de la soie; seules les femmes peuvent porter l'or et la soie, et ce n'est pas en public mais seulement dans l’intérieur de la maison, - qui correspond au monde intérieur de l'âme, - qu'elles peuvent montrer ces parures.
Partout où la civilisation islamique commence à déchoir, c'est d'abord le turban qu'on bannit, puis le port des vêtements larges et souples, qui facilitent les gestes de la prière rituelle. Quant à la campagne menée, en certains pays arabes, en faveur du chapeau, elle vise directement l'abolition des rites, car le bord du chapeau empêche le front de toucher le sol lors des prosternations; la casquette à visière, avec son allure particulièrement profane, n'est pas moins hostile à la tradition. Si l'usage des machines nécessite le port de tels vêtements, cela prouve simplement, du point de vue de l'Islam, que le machinisme éloigne l'homme de son centre existentiel, où il est "debout devant Dieu".”
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