Ahmad Ibn Tulun (835–84), the son of a Turkic slave in the Abbasid court of Baghdad, became the founder of the first independent state in Egypt since antiquity, and builder of Egypt’s short-lived third capital of the Islamic era, al-Qata’i‘ and its great congregational mosque. After recounting the story of Ibn Tulun and his successors, architectural historian Tarek Swelim presents a topographic survey of al-Qata’i‘, a city lost since its complete destruction in 905. He then provides a detailed architectural analysis of the Mosque of Ibn Tulun, which was spared the destruction and is now the oldest surviving mosque in Egypt and Africa, from the time of its completion until today. Rare archival illustrations and early photographs document the changing appearance and uses of the mosque in modern times, while extraordinary 3D computer renderings take us back in time to recreate its architectural development through its early centuries. Plans, drawings, and maps complement the history, while striking modern color photographs showcase the elegant simplicity of the building’s architecture and decoration. This definitive and generously illustrated book will appeal to scholars and students of Islamic art history, as well as to anyone interested in or inspired by the beauty of early mosque architecture.
His Lost City and Great Mosque
13 December 2015
120 illus., including color photos, computer drawings, archival prints
For sale worldwide
Early Persian Painting
Kalila and Dimna Manuscripts of the Late 14th Century
Kalila and Dimna Manuscripts of the Late 14th CenturyBernard O’Kane
Kalila wa Dimna (or The Fables of Bidpai) is one of the gems of world culture, having been translated through the centuries everywhere from China to Spain. The stories of Kalila wa Dimna, like the Fables of Aesop or Lafontaine, are subtle and suggestive moral tales—a kind of repository of wisdom and understanding about the human condition. It was the most commonly illustrated medieval Islamic text. This book focuses on the group of seven Persian manuscripts from the second half of the fourteenth century, which contain several of the finest masterpieces of Persian painting. It is a work of enormous erudition and scholarly importance, a huge contribution for art historians and students interested in Persian painting and early Islamic art. In a world now besotted with images, these superb early paintings can give us a glimpse of the power and delight that they must have given their original viewers, and help explain the work’s attractiveness throughout the ages. “These pages will remain forever as a basic tool for all further work on this particular text and as a model for the study of illustrated manuscripts in general”—Oleg Grabar, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton...read more
50 b/w, 91 color illus.
Architecture for the Poor
An Experiment in Rural Egypt
An Experiment in Rural EgyptHassan Fathy
In this now classic work, Hassan Fathy, Egypt’s greatest twentieth-century architect, describes in detail his plan for building the village of New Gourna on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor, employing both the traditional building material, mud brick, and such traditional Egyptian architectural features as enclosed courtyards and domed and vaulted roofing. Fathy worked closely with the people to tailor his designs to their needs; he taught them how to work with the mud bricks, supervised the erection of the buildings, and encouraged the revival of ancient techniques, such as the use of claustra (mud-brick latticework) to adorn the buildings. Although bureaucratic red tape and other problems prevented the completion of New Gourna, Fathy’s ideas have since commanded widespread attention both inside and outside Egypt, and Architecture for the Poor remains a testament to his vision as an architect of conscience. “Fathy demonstrates very powerfully that it is possible to build for the poor … cheaply and humanly by the use of earth for building and by teaching people to build for themselves. There is no other book quite like this.” —Choice...read more
132 b/w illus.
An Artist’s Journey
An Artist’s JourneyAnna Boghiguian
Anna Boghiguian, one of Egypt’s foremost contemporary artists, has traveled the globe and recorded her artistic reaction to each new place in drawings and paintings in the notebooks she carries everywhere. But her roads through India or Cambodia, Canada or France always come back to the land of her birth, Egypt. Her drawings of Egypt reflect her instinctive and emotional responses to the country’s many layers of history and myth, and to the people, ancient and modern, grand and everyday, who populate those histories and myths with such entrancing spirit. In this very personal presentation of Egypt, Anna Boghiguian shares both her visual and her verbal thoughts, as she leads us on a tour of this incredible land of fact and fiction, across space and in and out of time, through her words that paint pictures and her drawings that tell stories. This truly unique book is as much about the artist as it is about the land, and a treasure on both counts....read more
Art and Architecture
Edited by Markus Hattstein Peter Delius
Art and ArchitectureEdited by Markus Hattstein
The rapid expansion of Islam in its early days encouraged a unique absorption and integration of disparate cultural forms and traditions. This book follows the historical development of the Islamic regions and their ruling dynasties, and illustrates their greatly varied forms of artistic expression from the birth of the religion to the present day. Basic architectural elements demonstrate, in their diverse modes of execution, the independence of regional building traditions. In the restrained yet inventive brick and tile ornamentation of Uzbekistan, just as in the bright, naturalistic arabesque of India or Iran, and in the ubiquitous geometrical ornamentation of Spain and the Maghreb, clear forms of expression are manifest, celebrating the riches and beauty of God’s creation. This impulse also inspires the colorful and fantastical book illustrations and calligraphy, sumptuous tapestries, extravagant metalwork, ceramics, and jewelry produced by all Islamic cultures. Contributors: Mukaddima Aschrafi, Marianne Barrucand, Sheila Blair, Jonathan Bloom, Sergej Chmelnizkij, Volkmar Enderlein, Joachim Gierlichs, Almut von Gladiss, Julia Gonnella, Oleg Grabar, Annette Hagedorn, Markus Hattstein, Wolfgang Holzwarth, Natascha Kubisch, Jesús Bermúdez López, Sibylle Mazot, Viktoria Meinecke-Berg, Elke Niewöhner-Ederhard, Peter W. Schienerl, Philippa Vaughan....read more
Over 900 color illus.