This book argues that the provenance of early modern and medieval objects from Islamic lands was largely forgotten until the "long" eighteenth century, when the first efforts were made to reconnect them with the historical contexts in which they were produced.
For the first time, these Islamicate objects were read, studied and classified – and given a new place in history. Freed by scientific interest, they were used in new ways and found new homes, including in museums. More generally, the process of "rediscovery" opened up the prehistory of the discipline of Islamic art history and had a significant impact on conceptions of cultural boundaries, differences and identity.
The book will be of interest to scholars working in the history of art, the art of the Islamic world, early modern history and art historiography.
Isabelle Dolezalek and Mattia Guidetti
Part I: Changing Perceptions
1. Changing Perceptions of Middle Eastern Objects and Cultures in Eighteenth-Century Europe
2. Reading Ottoman Banners in the State of the Church
Part II: Protagonists
3. Oluf Gerhard Tychsen: Orientalist and Object Interpreter in Rostock
4. Beyond Manuscripts: Maronite Christians as Object Interpreters in Early Modern Europe
Part III: Whose Heritage?
5. The "Baptistère de Saint Louis": The Making of a "Historical Monument"
6. "Nuestros árabes"? The Rediscovery of Spanish Islamic Architecture from an Enlightened Gaze
Miriam Cera Brea
"Dolezalek’s and Guidetti’s volume is a valuable and innovative contribution within this wider field, as it does indeed identify a gap of historiographic knowledge, particularly considering the important transitional phase of the eighteenth century."
--Journal of Art Historiography