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Minorities and Acculturation in the Ottoman Empire

Minorities and Acculturation in the Ottoman Empire - rug to...

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Julianna Ritter October 21, 2010 Minorities and Acculturation in the Ottoman Empire The Jewish community always belonged to the minority group. Because of their minority status, their art has always been greatly influenced by external factors such as more dominant religions (Christianity) and location. Part of the greater influence in Jewish sacred art is the laws prohibiting any iconic decoration. However these laws (Halakah) did not prohibit the style in which these objects are decorated or made. In the time of the Ottoman Empire there was a large influence coming from the Muslim art community. Examples would be the ornately decorated textiles and exterior decorating for places of prayer, prayer shawls, carpets, bedspreads, and embroidery on cloth. In the rugs, a vital motif seems to center a niche. A large part of these decorations were floral designs which was an allusion to paradise. The niche however were used for different purposes: Muslims used it as a
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Unformatted text preview: rug to pray on whereas the Jewish community used it as a Torah Curtain. The prayer rugs have been around since the 11 th century and only in the 14 th century did laws regarding its placement in holy places seem to catch on. Comment: The floral design seems to be dominant trait that traces back through Jewish roots in sacred art and religious context. Still however it is not a concept originated by the Jewish community. It seems that the Jewish religion concerning art seems to have a problem with identity and places a large emphasis on the more dominant religion as an influence. Question: We’ve dealt a lot with pious Jewish art. What kind of art was there in during these times by Jewish art that was not so directly related to their religion? Is there any? Or can that only happen in contemporary art?...
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