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The Illustrated Page

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Chapter Summary

The approach of Western scholars towards colour symbolism has a long history and the subject has been discussed by scholars since 19th century. Kubra, to cite just one example, omits to mention green when he talks about clothing, which as we know was the colour of the Prophet and holy men in general. Or, according to Annemarie Schimmel, Rumi had no predilection for a certain colour. Colours appear and disappear only as a reflection of God who, according to Ruzbihan wore a red mantle. Others based their interpretation on nature. Green was based on the colour of leaves, of vegetation, or the dome of heaven, while blue was the colour of water, of heaven or the sea. Others again based themselves on different moods and situations of the human soul, or on criteria which have no common denominator. It therefore seems doubtful that visual and literary traditions were indeed connected.

Keywords: colour symbolism; Joseph's Garments; persian manuscripts



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