Images are the cornerstone of culture. At a single glance, a society’s understanding of itself is crystallized in them; they are the agents of a common perspective, as well as witnesses to it. At the same time, there is a whiff of ideology and distorted perception about them. In between the two poles of the crucifi x and the gold calf, there is a field of tension where Christianity and Islam dwell. The histories of both religions fluctuate between the extremes of idolatry and iconoclasm. Sometimes they lean in one direction, and sometimes in the other, while at other times they seek a conciliatory balance. Outside of theological debates, this opens up an area full of aesthetic distinctions and approaches. This exhibition catalogue offers a richly illustrated, thoroughly informative look at these unusual histories of art and their currency in the world today.