The Heart On Fire
Love, in its many guises, is one of mankind’s most enduring and mysterious preoccupations. The Islamic world’s literary and artistic traditions have explored love’s pleasures, pains, and transcendent possibilities with great emotional and intellectual depth. Both long-form love tales and brief lyric poems that often blur the line between earthly and mystical love were composed in the region’s many languages, most prominently Persian, from the 10th century onward. Circulated by bards and recorded in manuscripts, such verses sparked the imaginations of many generations of painters, who created iconic images that seized the heart, stimulated the intellect, and aroused the senses. These traditions have had a lasting impact across cultures to the present day.