Synopses & Reviews
From the Alhambra to the Taj Mahal, from the Dome of the Rock to the ever evolving art of calligraphy, Barbara Brend traces the development of classic Islamic art from the seventh through the twentieth century.
The term "Islamic art" suggests a unity of style and purpose, and these works are in fact instantly recognizable for their subtlety of line and sumptuous detail. The Islamic world--from Arabia to North Africa and Spain, from Turkey to Central Asia and India--has a shared cultural heritage of extraordinary richness. Yet it is a common tradition that divides into a diversity of styles. So Brend narrates this history region by region, illustrating her discussion with superb examples drawn from all areas in which Muslim artists and craftsmen have excelled--mosque and palace architecture; the art of the book (calligraphy, painting, and bindings); and the decorative arts, including metalwork, carvings, mosaics, pottery, textiles, and carpets. Throughout, the author elucidates forms, aesthetic principles, themes, and imagery. And she points to sources and influences in the different periods--for example, the prominence of jade and chinoiserie after the Mongol invasion. In Islamic Art Brend expertly guides us through the splendors and delicacies of this classic tradition.
This may well be the first book on this subject that is sensible, accessible, authoritative, thoughtfully organized--and does not require a table to support it. Islamic Art is also illustrated with remarkable finesse. David Nalle
Islamic Art is altogether an astounding achievement: interestingly informative, accurate, balanced in coverage and judgment. It is a wonderful book for students and museum-goers who wish to get acquainted with this tradition. Oleg Grabar, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University
The intense blend of history and art insights makes for a volume which is scholarly and weighty, yet spellbinding. Discussions of dynasty changes, political influences on the development of Islam and Islamic art style, and transition points which fostered new Islamic art traditions accompany excellent, bright color illustrations of architectural and artistic Islamic heritage. American-Arab Affairs
A sumptuously illustrated, accurate, balanced and critically aware historical survey of Islamic art and architecture from the beginnings until modern times, this work...provides clear, informative treatments of architecture, pottery and tilework, textiles and carpets, painting, glass, jade, metal work, calligraphy, and the arts of the book. Midwest Book Review
From the Taj Mahal, from the Dome of the Rock to the ever evolving art of calligraphy, Barbara Brend traces the development of classic Islamic art from the seventh through the twentieth century.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 233-234) and index.
Table of Contents
The Muslim Era
Note on Transliteration
1. THE LEGACY OF EMPIRES
Syria, Iraq and Iran under the caliphs
2. LANDS OF THE WEST
Egypt, North Africa and Spain
3. RENEWAL FROM THE EAST
The Seljuks enter Iran and Anatolia
4. THE RULE OF LORDS AND SLAVES
Zangids, Ayyubids and Mamluks
5. THE LAST EASTERN INVADERS
The Mongol and Timurid empires
6. FERVOUR, OPULENCE AND DECLINE
Iran under the Safavids and Qajars