Artistic Crusade: Framing The Application Of Pseudo-Arabic Script In Italian Art

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kiersten Staab (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Josh Stephenson

Abstract: Within recent decades, scholarship on the Italian Renaissance has evolved to more closely examine the impact that increased globalization -- a result of the Crusades and established trade networks to the East -- had on the art produced during the Italian Renaissance. Many prominent artists across the Italian Peninsula made use of uniquely designed pseudoscripts in their art that were heavily reliant on forms native to Arabic calligraphy. This thesis aims to examine this phenomenon of Arabic pseudoscript as its use became commonplace during the Quattrocento period on the Italian Peninsula, framing its placement in Italian painting as a continuation of Crusader ideology; celebrating and further affirming the triumph and holiness of Latin Christianity while also decrying the use of the Arabic language and script within an Islamic context. Through the analysis of specific bodies of evidence that show the script used in various contexts, I argue that through the demonization of the script’s use by the Muslim other and its subsequent reappropriation into a Christian context, the Italians effectively reclaim a language thought to have been stolen by Muslim invaders, forming in some sense an artistic Crusade.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Staab, K. (2021). Artistic Crusade: Framing The Application Of Pseudo-Arabic Script In Italian Art. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2021
Renaissance, Italy, Italian Renaissance, Pseudo-Arabic Script

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