Margo Veillon, one of Egypt’s best known and best loved artists, was born in Cairo in 1907 to a Swiss father and an Austrian mother and died in the same city in 2003. For most of her 96 years she painted and drew Egypt, from north to south, from countryside to city, as well as Paris, London, and other parts of the world. As a witness to a century of enormous change in Egypt as much as elsewhere, she produced a huge, rich, and varied body of work that includes work from across the decades of her career as well as across a variety of media. Although Margo lived part of her life in Europe, it was clearly Egypt that held her imagination through all those long years of artistic innovation. One strand of her work is characterized by an ability to capture and depict the energy of a specific moment in time, be it a toss of wheat in the air to separate the chaff, the stoic bride in a wedding procession, or a horse dancing in a tent at a mulid. The stones, sands, and constantly changing light of the desert were the inspiration for many years for another major line of artistic expression. And a third strand was her exploration of all that can be seen, not seen, and sensed in one place, in her remarkable series of Global Perspectives. These threads and others no less individual and innovative make up the extraordinarily rich tapestry of Margo Veillon’s artistic career over nearly one hundred years.
Witness of a Century
30 May 2007
214 color illus.
For sale worldwide
Also available by this author
Egyptian FestivalsEdited by Bruno Ronfard
Essay by John Rodenbeck
Margo Veillon, one of Egypt’s best known and best loved artists, returns to enchant us again with a collection of paintings and drawings depicting the festivals of Egypt. The cycle of Egyptian life is marked by festivals and celebrations: those for births, weddings, saints’ mulids, national holidays, and closing the circle, funerals. Margo Veillon draws us in to the joy, exuberance, and occasional sorrow that mark the seasons of Egyptian festivals. This remarkable collection of images fills the viewer with the music and dance that punctuate these events and allows us to participate vicariously through the pages in a swirl of colors, smells, sounds, and exultation....read more
11 October 2004
83 color, 19 b/w illus.
Painting Egypt: The Masterpiece Collection at the American University in CairoEdited by Bruno Ronfard
Margo Veillon, one of Egypt’s best loved artists, here presents a sampling of her work from throughout her career, as represented in a legacy bequeathed to the American University in Cairo. The collection includes work from across the decades of her career as well as across a variety of media. Although Margo has lived part of her life in Europe, it is clearly Egypt that has held her imagination in all these long years of artistic innovation. One strand of her work is characterized by an ability to capture and depict the energy of a specific moment in time, be it a toss of wheat in the air to separate the chaff, the stoic bride in a wedding procession, or a horse dancing in a tent at a mulid. The stones, sands, and constantly changing light of the desert have been the inspiration for many years for another major line of artistic expression. And a third strand has been her exploration of all that can be seen, not seen, and sensed in one place, in her remarkable series of Global Perspectives. These threads and others no less individual and innovative make up the extraordinarily rich tapestry of Margo Veillon’s artistic career, as brought together in the AUC Permanent Collection....read more
29 October 2004
100 color illus.
Drawing EgyptEdited by Bruno Ronfard
Born in 1907, Margo Veillon was one of Egypt’s best-loved artists. Presented here is a sampling of her work spanning seventy-five years of her productive career, in a variety of graphic media—pen and ink, watercolor, pencil, and crayon, as represented in a legacy bequeathed to the American University in Cairo. Although she lived part of her life in Europe, it is clearly Egypt that held her imagination and inspired her artistic innovation. Possessed with an ability to capture the energy of a specific moment in time, Margo Veillon drew people and animals, landscapes and street scenes with her characteristic sly humor and gift for depicting a lively vignette or serene visual moment in just a few strokes. These threads and others no less individual and innovative make up the extraordinarily rich tapestry of Margo Veillon’s artistic career, brought together in the AUC Permanent Collection....read more
15 April 2013
220 color illus.
Creating Medieval Cairo
Empire, Religion, and Architectural Preservation in Nineteenth-Century Egypt
Empire, Religion, and Architectural Preservation in Nineteenth-Century EgyptPaula Sanders
This book argues that the historic city we know as Medieval Cairo was created in the nineteenth century by both Egyptians and Europeans against a background of four overlapping political and cultural contexts: the local Egyptian, Anglo-Egyptian, Anglo-Indian, and Ottoman imperial milieux. Addressing the interrelated topics of empire, local history, religion, and transnational heritage, historian Paula Sanders shows how Cairo’s architectural heritage became canonized in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The book also explains why and how the city assumed its characteristically Mamluk appearance and situates the activities of the European-dominated architectural preservation committee (known as the Comité) within the history of religious life in nineteenth-century Cairo. Offering fresh perspectives and keen historical analysis, this volume examines the unacknowledged colonial legacy that continues to inform the practice of and debates over preservation in Cairo....read more
7 November 2007
36 b/w photographs
The History and Religious Heritage of Old Cairo
Its Fortress, Churches, Synagogue, and Mosque
Edited by Carolyn Ludwig Morris Jackson Photographs by Sherif Sonbol
Its Fortress, Churches, Synagogue, and MosqueEdited by Carolyn Ludwig
Photographs by Sherif Sonbol
Just to the south of modern Cairo stands the historic enclave known as Old Cairo, which grew up in and around the Roman fortress of Babylon, and which today hosts a unique collection of monuments that attest to the shared cultural heritage of ancient Egyptians, Christians, Jews, and Muslims. In this lavishly illustrated celebration of a very special place, renowned photographer Sherif Sonbol’s remarkable images of the fortress, churches, synagogue, and mosque illuminate the living fabric of the ancient and medieval stones, while the text describes the history of Old Cairo from the time of the ancient Egyptians and the Romans to the founding of the first Muslim city of al-Fustat, focusing on the Jewish history of the area (exploring the famous Genizah documents found in the Ben Ezra Synagogue that tell so much about everyday life in medieval Egypt), the early Coptic Christian churches, some of the oldest in the world, and the arrival of the Muslims in the seventh century, their establishment of al-Fustat on the edge of Old Cairo, and the building of the oldest mosque in Africa....read more
29 April 2013
370 color illus.
Arts of the City Victorious
Islamic Art and Architecture in the Fatimid North Africa and Egypt
Jonathan M. Bloom
Islamic Art and Architecture in the Fatimid North Africa and EgyptJonathan M. Bloom
Arts of the City Victorious is the first book-length study of the art and architecture of the Fatimids, the Shi‘ite dynasty that ruled in North Africa and Egypt from 909 to 1171. The Fatimids are most famous for founding the walled city of Cairo in 969, and their art—particularly textiles and luster ceramics, but also metalwork and carved rock-crystal, ivory, and woodwork—has been admired for nearly a millennium. Fatimid art is known for its strongly figural imagery, and its elegant and inventive use of Arabic calligraphy, particularly the angular Kufic script. Highlighting surviving examples of Fatimid art and architecture, this volume also draws on 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. Whereas earlier studies treated the two and a half centuries of Fatimid art and architecture as a single category, this book is the first to show how they grew and evolved over time. Written in an engaging and accessible style, this book focuses on key works of art, copiously illustrated with photographs, many in color. With this volume, art historian Jonathan Bloom synthesizes the findings of many scholars in many languages, to offer a rich portrait of a vibrant artistic period in Islamic civilization....read more
150 illus. incl. 50 color
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.