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.
Cairo of the Mamluks
A History of the Architecture and Its Culture
A History of the Architecture and Its CultureDoris Behrens-Abouseif
During two and a half centuries of rule by Mamluk sultans, Cairo acquired some of its most impressive medieval architecture, including the historical monuments that today define the city’s architectural heritage. In this comprehensive work of analysis and description, Islamic art historian Doris Behrens-Abouseif highlights the most important factors in the evolution of Mamluk urban architecture, along with the social and political reasons for their patronage as builders of mosques, schools, hospitals, and mausolea. Copiously illustrated with color photographs and architectural plans, Cairo of the Mamluks highlights sixty of the most important Mamluk buildings in Cairo, in chronological order, from the mausoleum built by Shagar al-Durr, in honor of her late husband, the last Ayyubid ruler, to the magnificent madrasa of Sultan Hasan and the funerary complex of al-Ghuri, the last powerful Mamluk sultan. Long a scholar of Cairo’s historic architecture, Doris Behrens-Abouseif draws on Arabic chronicles as well as the latest in contemporary scholarship to offer a remarkably complete history of Cairo’s justly-famous monuments....read more
258 color illus., 63 line drawings and maps
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
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.
His Lost City and Great Mosque
His Lost City and Great MosqueTarek Swelim
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....read more
13 December 2015
120 illus., including color photos, computer drawings, archival prints