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“Speaking of the Devil” – Images of Divs (demons) in the Persian Pictorial Tradition: Dr Francesca Leoni
April 9, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Why does evil look the way it does? In this richly illustrated talk, Dr Francesca Leoni addresses this question by examining divs or demons, the quintessentially evil creatures of Persian mythology and folklore.
Dr Francesca Leoni is Assistant Keeper and Curator of Islamic Art at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, as well as Research Associate at the Khalili Research Centre, University of Oxford. She has previously held curatorial and research posts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2008-2011), Rice University (2008-2010), and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2007-2008).
Dr Leoni curated the recent exhibition ‘Power and Protection: Islamic Art and the Supernatural’ at the Ashmolean Museum, which was the first large-scale installation to consider the impact of divinatory and amuletic practices on Islamic art and material culture.
In addition to the exhibition catalogue of Power and Protection, her books include Eros and Sexuality in Islamic Art (co-edited with Mika Natif, 2013) and Light of the Sufis: The Mystical Arts of Islam (co-authored with Ladan Akbarnia, 2010). She is currently working on the proceedings of the conference ‘Islamic Occultism in Theory and Practice’ held earlier this year in Oxford.