I started writing a political post last night, beginning with an anecdote set in a public house, but like so many of my old posts it has grown in the telling and is unfinished. In the meantime, I thought I’d share this. It’s a Persian miniature depicting the Mother of God and the Saviour. Of course, for the artist it was simply the woman Maryam and the Prophet Isa. I must say I am quite taken with it, particularly the Christ Child with his fiery halo (“I am come to send fire on the earth,” &c), and the grown up shape of his body, reminiscent of Byzantine iconographical injunctions against depicting the Saviour as an infant. The Islamic prayer rug has resonances in later Renaissance artwork, particularly Bellini’s rather oriental Madonna with its own Turkish embellishments.
What do you see? Do those urns or lamps have a significance? Or the tree? We sometimes lose sight of the fact that Islam is closer to us than other religions.