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Art of Islam
Following the ideals of beauty of Islamic art, the book shows high-quality representations of numerous monumental masterpieces, such as the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, the Taj Mahal in Agra or the Alhambra in Granada, in which one recognises the stylisation of motives of the Muslim ceramics.
Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Cultures of the Islamic World
Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Cultures of the Islamic World is sponsored by the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The articles in Muqarnas 27 address topics such as spolia in medieval Islamic architecture, Islamic coinage in the seventh century, the architecture of the Alhambra from an environmental perspective, and Ottoman Mamluk gift exchange in the fifteenth century. The volume also features a new section, entitled Notes and Sources , with pieces highlighting primary sources such as Akbar s Kath sarits gara. Contributors include Ebba Koch, Elizabeth Lambourn, Elias Muhanna, Rina Avner, Kathryn Moore, Alicia Walker, Todd Willmert, Julia Gonnella, Zeynep Ertu , Jere Bacharach, Persis Berlekamp, Heike Franke, Vincenza Garofalo, and Fabrizio Agnello.
The Shaping of Persian Art
While the impact of the Persian style is undeniably reflected in most aspects of the art and architecture of Islamic Central Asia, this Perso-Central Asian connection was chiefly formed and articulated by the Euro-American movement of collecting and interpreting the art and material culture of the Persian Islamic world in modern times. This had an enormous impact on the formation of scholarship and connoisseurship in Persian art, for instance, with an attempt to define the characteristics of how the Islamic art of Iran and Central Asia should be viewed and displayed at museums, and how these subjects should be researched in academia. This important historical fact, which has attracted scholarly interest only in recent years, should be treated as a serious subject of research, accepting that the abstract image of Persian art was not a pure creation of Persian civilization, but that it can be the manifestation of particular historical times and charismatic individuals. Attention should therefore be given to various factors that resulted in the shaping of Persian imagery across the globe, not only in terms of national ideologies, but also within the context of several protagonists, such as scholars, collectors and dealers, as well as of the objects themselves. This volume brings together Islamic Iranian and Central Asian art experts from diverse disciplinary and professional backgrounds, and intends to offer a novel insight into what is collectively known as Persian art.
The Transformation of Islamic Art During the Sunni Revival
The transformation of Islamic architecture and ornament during the eleventh and twelfth centuries signaled profound cultural changes in the Islamic world. Yasser Tabbaa explores with exemplary lucidity the geometric techniques that facilitated this transformation, and investigates the cultural processes by which meaning was produced within the new forms. Iran, Iraq, and Syria saw the development of proportional calligraphy, vegetal and geometric arabesque, muqarnas (stalactite) vaulting, and other devices that became defining features of medieval Islamic architecture. Ultimately, the forms and themes described in this book shaped the development of Mamluk architecture in Egypt and Syria, and by extension, the entire course of North African and Andalusian architecture as well. These innovations developed and were disseminated in a highly charged atmosphere of confrontation between the Seljuk and post-Seljuk proponents of the traditionalist Sunni revival and their main opponents in Fatimid Egypt. These forms stood as visual signs of allegiance to the orthodox Abbasid caliphate and of difference from the heterodox Fatimids. Tabbaa proposes that their rapid spread throughout the Islamic world operated within a system of reciprocating, ceremonial gestures, which conveyed a new and formal language that helped negotiate the gap between the myth of a unified Sunni Islam and its actual political fragmentation. In subject matter and approach, The Transformation of Islamic Art during the Sunni Revival makes original contributions to the study of art, revealing that this relatively neglected sector of medieval art and architecture is of critical importance for reevaluating the entire field of Islamic studies. It challenges the essentialist and positivist approaches that still permeate the study of Islamic art, and offers a historical and semiotic alternative for exploring meaning within ruptures of change.