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Virtually all the masterpieces of Islamic art-the Alhambra, the Taj Mahal, and the Tahmasp Shahnama-were produced during the period from the Mongol conquests in the early thirteenth century to the advent of European colonial rule in the nineteenth. This beautiful book surveys the architecture and arts of the traditional Islamic lands during this era. Conceived as a sequel to The Art and Architecture of Islam: 650-1250, by Richard Ettinghausen and Oleg Grabar, the book follows the general format of the first volume, with chronological and regional divisions and architecture treated separately from the other arts. The authors describe over two hundred works of Islamic art of this period and also investigate broader social and economic contexts, considering such topics as function, patronage, and meaning. They discuss, for example, how the universal caliphs of the first six centuries gave way to regional rulers and how, in this new world order, Iranian forms, techniques, and motifs played a dominant role in the artistic life of most of the Muslim world; the one exception was the Maghrib, an area protected from the full brunt of the Mongol invasions, where traditional models continued to inspire artists and patrons. By the sixteenth century, say the authors, the eastern Mediterranean under the Ottomans and the area of northern India under the Mughals had become more powerful, and the Iranian models of early Ottoman and Mughal art gradually gave way to distinct regional and imperial styles. The authors conclude with a provocative essay on the varied legacies of Islamic art in Europe and the Islamic lands in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
"Islamic art" can be a challenging term in an ever-changing art world. Through the exploration of a wide array of media-from painting, sculpture, and photography to video and multimedia-an internationally renowned group of scholars, collectors, artists, and curators tackles questions such as whether the art has to come from the Middle East, whether it must have a religious component, and, indeed, whether the work of art must be made by a Muslim. Based on a series of papers presented at the 7th Biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art in 2017, the essays in this volume grapple with these questions from a range of viewpoints. Taken together, these texts, including beautiful illustrations of major works by contemporary artists from the Muslim world, invoke a lively discussion of how the arts of the Islamic lands link the past with the present and the future.
Considered by Muslims as the only true art, calligraphy has played a prominent role in Islamic culture since the time of the prophet Muhammad. Exploring this central role of the written word in Islam and how writing practices have evolved and adapted in different historical contexts, this book provides an overview of the enormous impact that writing in Arabic script has had on the visual arts of the Islamic world. Approaching the topic from a number of different perspectives, the essays in this volume include discussions on the relationship between orality and the written word; the materiality of the written word, ranging from the type of paper on which books were written to monumental inscriptions in stone and brick; and the development of Arabic typography and the printed book. Generously illustrated, By the Pen and What They Write is an engaging look at how writing has remained a foundational component of Islamic art throughout fourteen centuries.
Like the printing press, typewriter, and computer, paper has been a crucial agent for the dissemination of information. This engaging book presents an important new chapter in paper's history: how its use in Islamic lands during the Middle Ages influenced almost every aspect of medieval life. Focusing on the spread of paper from the early eighth century, when Muslims in West Asia acquired Chinese knowledge of paper and papermaking, to five centuries later, when they transmitted this knowledge to Christians in Spain and Sicily, the book reveals how paper utterly transformed the passing of knowledge and served as a bridge between cultures. Jonathan Bloom traces the earliest history of paper-how it was invented in China over 2,000 years ago, how it entered the Islamic lands of West Asia and North Africa, and how it spread to northern Europe. He explores the impact of paper on the development of writing, books, mathematics, music, art, architecture, and even cooking. And he discusses why Europe was so quick to adopt paper from the Islamic lands and why the Islamic lands were so slow to accept printing in return. Together the beautifully written text and delightful illustrations (of papermaking techniques and the many uses to which paper was put) give new luster and importance to a now-humble material.
This beautifully illustrated history depicts the origin and development of the most visible element of Islamic architecture: the minaret. The argument is iconoclastic - that the minaret, long understood to have been invented in the early years of Islam as the place from which the muezzin gives the call to prayer, was actually invented some two centuries later to be a universal symbol of the presence of Islam. Originally published in 1989, this new edition has been thoroughly revised, expanded and generously illustrated in colour, substantially broadening both the chronological and geographical scope. Coverage spans from early Islam to the modern world, and from Iran, Egypt, Turkey and India to West and East Africa, the Yemen and Southeast Asia, in a sweeping tour of the minaret's position as the symbol of Islam.
How similar are humans to the non-human universe? Many people believe that there are obvious similarities between humans and some non-human animals, however, the similarities between humans and things such as trees and stones are less obvious. This has led to the conceptualisation of trees and stones as 'physical' stuff or 'mere matter', whereas humans contain feeling states such as the feeling of pain and the feeling of elation. In this book Jonathan Bloom outlines the case for believing that feelings pervade not only humans but that they pervade the entire non-human universe too.
The Islamic world, spanning centuries and far-flung regions, is renowned for its diverse cultural and artistic traditions. This sumptuous book delves into that vast creative output, examining a dozen exquisite objects in the Museum of Islamic Art, in Doha, Qatar, designed by the Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei and opened in 2008. Twelve prominent scholars from across the globe select works representing various centers of Islamic life, from early Spain to 17th-century India, as well as a range of media including textiles, ceramics, metalwork, and miniature paintings. Authoritative texts put the objects into context, exploring the relationships to those people who produced and lived among them. In addition, architectural critic Paul Goldberger discusses the museum, assessing its place in Pei's career and in the broader scope of Islamic architecture, while Oliver Watson, the museum's former director, sheds light on the installation of works throughout the building.
Arts of the City Victorious is the first book-length study of the art and architecture of the Fatimids, the Ismaili Shi'i dynasty that ruled in North Africa and Egypt from 909 to 1171. The Fatimids are most famous for founding the city of al-Qahira (whence the name Cairo) in 969, and their art - particularly textiles and lustre ceramics, but also metalwork and carved rock-crystal, ivory and woodwork - has been admired for nearly a millennium. Initially brought home to Europe by merchants and Crusaders and then preserved as relics and reliquaries in church treasuries, Fatimid art is still prized today by collectors and curators for its strongly figural imagery, and its elegant and inventive use of Arabic calligraphy, particularly the angular 'Kufic' script. Surviving examples of Fatimid art and architecture are supplemented by an unusual wealth of medieval sources that provide written evidence for the rich visual culture shared among the Muslim, Christian and Jewish inhabitants of the Fatimid realm. In this engaging and accessible study, Jonathan Bloom concentrates on securely dated and localized examples of Fatimid art and architecture. His discussions focus on significant examples and are illustrated with over 100 photographs, many in colour, while extensive notes and bibliography provide guidance for further reading and research. As a comprehensive treatment of all the arts of a single, major dynasty, this book offers something of interest to all scholars and admirers of Islamic art and architecture.
Emile Prisse d'Avennes (1807-1879), a French Orientalist, author, and artist, was one of the greatest pre-20th-century Egyptologists. As a youth he dreamed of exploring the Orient and at 19 began traveling to Greece, India, and Palestine. Over the next 40 years he explored Syria, Arabia, Persia, and also spent long periods living in Egypt and Algeria. Having converted to Islam, he traveled under the Arabic name Idris Effendi. With a keen eye for the symmetry, opulence, and complexity of local visual cultures, Prisse d'Avennes recorded the art and architecture which he encountered on his travels. His work would later become one of the most outstanding surveys on Islamic art and architecture, with Arab Art (L'Art arabe d'apres les monuments du Kaire) being published between 1869 and 1877 in Paris. This TASCHEN edition revives Prisse d'Avennes's magisterial chromolithograph survey in all its attention to detail, as well as to historical, social, and religious contexts. For further situational understanding, it includes his supplementary studies of the people and costumes of the Nile Valley, which he published in the Oriental Album (Oriental Album: Characters, Costumes, and Modes of Life, the Valley of the Nile, London, 1848). It is a precious record not only of Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman heritage but also of the history of thought and imagination between Europe and the Middle East. About the series Bibliotheca Universalis - Compact cultural companions celebrating the eclectic TASCHEN universe!
This volume deals with the formative period of Islamic art (to c. 950), and the different approaches to studying it. Individual essays deal with architecture, ceramics, coins, textiles, and manuscripts, as well as with such broad questions as the supposed prohibition of images, and the relationships between sacred and secular art. An introductory essay sets each work in context; it is complemented by a bibliography for further reading.
In the years following the revelations of the Prophet Muhammad in the early seventh century AD, the new religion of Islam spread rapidly through Arabia to North Africa and Spain in the west and Cental Asia and India in the east. Through the following 1000 years, artists and craftsmen in the areas influenced by Islam produced some of the world's most beautiful works of art: from the Albrahmra to the Taj Mahal, from illuminated copies of the Koran to exquisite decorative arts: ceramics, textiles and metalwork.
An authoritative survey situating some of the Western world's most renowned buildings within a millennium of Islamic history Some of the most outstanding examples of world architecture, such as the Mosque of Cordoba, the ceiling of the Cappella Palatina in Palermo, the Giralda tower in Seville, and the Alhambra Palace in Granada, belong to the Western Islamic tradition. This architectural style flourished for over a thousand years along the southern and western shores of the Mediterranean-between Tunisia and Spain-from the 8th century through the 19th, blending new ideas with local building practices from across the region. Jonathan M. Bloom's Architecture of the Islamic West introduces readers to the full scope of this vibrant tradition, presenting both famous and little-known buildings in six countries in North Africa and southern Europe. It is richly illustrated with photographs, specially commissioned architectural plans, and historical documents. The result is a personally guided tour of Islamic architecture led by one of the finest scholars in the field and a powerful testament to Muslim cultural achievement.
In its first thousand years -- from the revelations to Muhammad in the seventh century to the great Islamic empires of the sixteenth -- Islamic civilization flourished. While Europeans suffered through the Dark Ages, Muslims in such cities as Jerusalem, Damascus, Alexandria, Fez, Tunis, Cairo, and Baghdad made remarkable advances in philosophy, science, medicine, literature, and art. This engrossing and accessible book explores the first millennium of Islamic culture, shattering stereotypes and enlightening readers about the events and achievements that have shaped contemporary Islamic civilization.
Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair examine the rise of Islam, the life of Muhammad, and the Islamic principles of faith. They describe the golden age of the Abbasids, the Mongol invasions, and the great Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal empires that emerged in their wake. Their narrative, complemented by excerpts of the Koran, poetry, biographies, inscriptions, travel guides, and even a thirteenth-century recipe, concludes with a brief epilogue that takes us to the twentieth century. Colorfully illustrated, this book is a wonderful introduction to the rich history of a civilization that still radically affects the world.
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