Sunday, October 16, 2011

Possible DaVinci Art - Milanese Princess

According to a UK Daily Mall article, a number of art experts believe that a piece that sold for the grand price of $19,000 in a 1998 auction is actually the work of Leonardo DaVinci. A fingerprint on the work that appears to be that of the great thinker/scientist/artist/theoretician was found by a Paris laboratory. The subject is a 15th century Milanese Princess and the portrait is made of ink and chalks. As expected of a labor of DaVinci, we see amazing beauty, depth, and detail, both of the subject and her clothing.

Articles such as this cannot fail to remind the viewer of the great and varied cultural treasures of Western Civilization. Today we find numerous writers from our own Western world (From the Left, not Muslims) who bemoan the fact that our civilization was not extinguished by the flood of Islam. These forward-thinking progressives look at the 8th century battle of Tours (also called Poitiers), where Mayor of the Palace Charles Martel defeated a major Moslem incursion, and feel disappointment. They hold that the Western world would be much better off in the "tolerant" atmosphere of a Muslim society. Apparently tolerance includes prohibitions on producing the likeness of any living creature (including people), leaving Islam, and women being allowed to leave their homes without express consent of a male family member. It must also include honor killings, forced marriages of underage girls, female genital mutilation, payment of taxes by non-Muslims, and so on. Let's not forget that a the testimony of a woman is half that of a man, so if a rape victim cannot produce a male witness or two (see below)  female witnesses to support her claims, she is then accused of adultery; with all that follows for punishment for that indiscretion under Sharia law.

Note that two female witnesses will actually not suffice  - the victim will need two females to provide testimony equal to that of a man to counter the testimony of the assailant, then two more to provide one man's worth of testimony to provide sufficient evidence to convict.

It boggles the mind to attempt to picture a society devoid of the arts, theater, music, opera, and literature of which we are the beneficiaries. Islamic nations have almost no depictions of people and those that do exist have none of the realism or subtle beauty common to Western art. Theirs is a culture programmed to stagnation. Modern history textbooks, true to form of those who wish to discredit the achievements of the West, fawn all over medieval Islamic cultures and cannot get enough of its "advances" in science, medicine, literature, mathematics, and architecture. What is glossed over is that fact that these were almost entirely taken lock, stock, and barrel from the people that they subjugated- math from the Indians, architecture from the Byzantines, science, literature and medicine from the early Greeks and Persians. Even this ignores that fact that the only period where these works flourished was when Muslim-ruled areas had sizeable non-Muslim populations that could contribute their skills and learning. Once these people either left or became Muslims themselves, Islam failed to even continue with pursing let alone improve on these fields.
Now, there of course nothing wrong with noting that others have useful skills and learning and taking advantage of such. It is not fair though, to the societies that gave birth to and disseminated these ideas in the first place when the cultural descendants of much of it decide to give undue credit to a society that briefly tinkered with it then effectively dropped it.

Islamic society can only "flourish" when it is constantly taking over new cultures and gleaning what it deems useful or of value for the moment. Once that is done or religious fundamentalism sets in, the stagnation begins. Even the massive influx of petrodollars has done little to produce great thinkers in modern Islamic society. Prior to this windfall, the Middle East was a backwater, even experiencing very little population growth. How much of Muslim societies today are backwaters?

The left is so hateful of the West and what it has accomplished that they would prefer to wish it away while they gladly take full advantage of its fruits.

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