The Litsevoi Svod as Graphic Novel Narrativity in Iconographic Style

In Orhan Pamuk’s brilliant novel about seeing and beauty, My Name Is Red, miniaturists at the Sultan’s court exemplify historical tensions in 16th-century Ottoman artistic culture. They deplore the “Frankish” style of painting as a “temptation of Satan”: portraiture was “a sin of desire, like growing arrogant before God, like considering oneself of utmost importance, like situating oneself at the center of the world”; true perspective “removes the painting from God’s perspective and lowers it to the level of a street dog.” In their view, “painting is the act of seeking out Allah’s memories and seeing the world as He sees the world.” Murders ensue among miniaturists corrupted by the Western desire to develop their own “style.”