The search for meaning in Islamic art is of enduring interest. This book explores the iconography of Islamic art and presents a diverse range of approaches. Despite this variety, there is an overarching theme—the linking of the interpretation of objects to textual sources. This results in a collection of in-depth studies of motifs as diverse as the peacock, trees, and the figure holding a cup and branch. In addition, new interpretations are presented of other objects, such as an Ayyubid metal basin or Mongol paintings. Textual sources on the Ka’ba or the use of marble provide a starting point for the examination of objects and their relationship to history. The architectural decoration of monuments from Egypt to India is analysed, and Arab and Safavid paintings are mined for meaning. Links with Christian elements in Sicily or Buddhist stupas are appraised. Professor Robert Hillenbrand’s writings on Islamic art and architecture cover an enormous range, from the seventh to the nineteenth centuries, and from Spain to India. The multiplicity of approaches to the search for meaning in Islamic art found in this book mirrors the broad range of his scholarship. Lavishly illustrated throughout, with color and black-and-white photographs and line-drawings Contributors: Sylvia Auld, Marianne Barrucand, Sheila S. Blair, Jonathan M. Bloom, Barbara Brend, Anna Contadini, Abbas Daneshvari, Geza Fehervari, Barbara Finster, Finbarr Barry Flood, Oleg Grabar, Ulrike al-Khamis, Marcus Milwright, Bernard O’Kane, B. W. Robinson, Avinoam Shalem, Raya Y. Shani, Rachel Ward.
The Iconography of Islamic Art
Studies in Honor of Robert Hillenbrand
175 illus. incl. 32 in color
For sale only in the Middle East
Folk Art of the Great Pilgrimage
Ann Parker Avon Neal
Folk Art of the Great PilgrimageAnn Parker
Since the seventh century, the Hajj, or Great Pilgrimage to Mecca, has been a lifelong goal of devout Muslims throughout the world. Egyptian pilgrims traditionally celebrate their sacred journey by commissioning a local artist to depict their religious odyssey on the walls of their homes. Hajj Paintings is the first visual record of the richness and variety of this naive art form. Photographer Ann Parker and writer Avon Neal spent a decade exploring towns, villages, and isolated farm communities along the Nile, across the Delta, down the Red Sea coast, and into Sinai. On the walls of buildings ranging from alabaster factories to mud-brick farmhouses they found brilliant murals illuminated by the desert sun, portraying beloved icons of the pilgrims’ faith and scenes from the Qur’an. Their nearly 150 color photographs and accompanying descriptions record the radiant palette of the mostly self-taught artists....read more
1 March 2009
130 color illus.
Messages of Love and Politics
Messages of Love and PoliticsMia Gröndahl
Graffiti began in Gaza in 1987, during the first Intifada, when there was no Palestinian television or radio in the Gaza Strip, and no newspapers: the messages that spread along the walls became an important means of communication. Over the years, all political groups have had their own graffiti artists. Scrawl is not tolerated—it has to look good. Hamas even offers evening classes in graffiti. Documenting the writings on the walls of Gaza over a period of seven years, celebrated Swedish photojournalist Mia Gröndahl lays before us the many roles that they perform, the colorful and surprising range of their artistic expression, and their reflection of the changing political situation. And apart from political slogans, the walls bear witness too to joy and sadness: the wedding celebrations, the many victims of the conflict, and the ever present hope of peace and freedom. For us on the outside, Mia Gröndahl’s photographs offer an exciting and unexpected view of life in Gaza....read more
15 March 2010
150 color illus.
Film in the Middle East and North Africa
Edited by Josef Gugler
Creative DissidenceEdited by Josef Gugler
Nine essays presenting the major national cinemas, from Iran to Morocco, are complemented by in-depth discussions of eighteen films that have been selected for both their excellence and their critical engagement with pressing current issues. The introduction provides a comprehensive overview of filmmaking throughout the region, including important films produced outside the national cinemas. The long history of Iranian cinema, its international renown, and the politics of directors confronting the state, earns it a special place in this volume. The other major emphasis is on the Israel/Palestine conflict, featuring films by Palestinian directors, Israelis, and an Egyptian working in Syria. Twenty contributors, from film and literary scholars to film directors and a novelist, bring to this unique volume differences in disciplinary orientation and variation in the perspectives that inform their writing. Together they offer an illuminating range of approaches to the cinemas of the region....read more
55 b/w illus.
Hassan Fathy and Continuity in Islamic Arts and Architecture
The Birth of a New Modern
The Birth of a New ModernAhmad Hamid
Hassan Fathy, the Egyptian architect known for his recognition of the potential of vernacular forms as a vital force in contemporary architectural design, sought to integrate the traditions of Islamic art with his modern visions for living. Guided by Fathy’s principles, Ahmad Hamid, an architect who collaborated with Hassan Fathy in the Institute for Appropriate Technology, identifies questions about the nature of Islamic art and its building culture, as well as the origins of modern architecture. This richly illustrated book provides new insights into Hassan Fathy’s profuse, pathbreaking design documents and built projects, while exploring the socioeconomic, environmental, psychological, and esthetic components of Fathy’s work in the light of a quest for a new universal modernity for the twenty-first century....read more
15 December 2010
100 b/w photographs and drawings