Labeling forms with cultural or national identifications

Oleg Grabar:

‘ The first of these assumptions is that which involves labeling forms with cultural or national identifications. What seem to us today to be valid or even accurate means for the classification of visual evidence from the past, and for the appreciation of that evidence within ou own, present-day minds, may not have been the appropriate crriterion at the time when the monuments through which this evidence appears were created. If we consider a motif or a type of design as first of all colorful, geometric or vegetal, rather than Islamic or Gothic or Byzantine, an appreciation of forms emerges which may well correspond more closely to what actually happened than the national and ethnic constructs we have posited‘.

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