- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Vendome Press (November 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0865652147
- ISBN-13: 978-0865652149
- Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 1 x 13.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,300,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Splendors of Islam: Architecture, Decoration and Design Hardcover – November 1, 2002
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From Library Journal
Examining the architecture of important Islamic buildings designed for a variety of purposes, this volume presents uniformly excellent photographs, matching the quality of the detail that they capture. The first section looks at the diversity of styles resulting from the syncretism of Islam with the many cultures it conquered. Section 2 discusses the various materials used and the accomplishments of builders and artists. Section 3 discusses the principal decorative themes, and the last section looks at aesthetics and the relationship between form and decoration. At the end of each section there appears a "documentary notebook," mainly containing photographs, that permits a fuller examination of the topic. Presenting the subject from these four viewpoints, rather than chronologically, yields some valuable insights that make this book an important contribution to the study of Islamic art. The volume has a map of the major sites of Islamic ornamentation, a chronology of the principal Islamic dynasties, and an index of the monuments. This truly beautiful book should be in both public and academic libraries. Martin Chasin, Adult Inst., Bridgeport, CT
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Dominique Clevenot is a professor at the University of Toulouse and author of several books on Islamic art.
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For those unable to find a copy to preview, what follows is a more specific summary of its contents.
SECTION 1--which focuses on the variations in Islamic architecture in one part of the world--devotes 8 to 10 pages of photographs and clearly written text to each of the following: the Dome of the Rock, the Alhambra, the Taj Mahal, and Persia's Shah Mosque. Eight pages of smaller photographs of other significant monuments from the Arab lands, Turkey, India, Iran and Central Asia follow.
SECTION 2: After a lengthy chapter which goes into great detail about the history of the use of brick, stucco, mosaics and ceramics as decorative techniques, separate chapters are devoted to each of the materials. New in each is the detail about how the material is created; repetitive is much of the information about how it is used as architectural decoration. Although no text explains them, additional photographs illustrate the use of bronze, wood and painted wood as decorative devices.
SECTION 3 focuses on the decorative use of mathematically defined forms--e.g. stars, hexagons--vegetation, calligraphy and even occasionally the human figure.
SECTION 4 looks at how the elements in Sections 2 and 3 combine to create surfaces that resemble textiles. Specifically discussed (and often repetitive of information in Section 2) are a) the division of flat surfaces into panels and bands, b) the multi-layering of textures and c) the use of repetition to create geometric designs. Not repetitive is this section's discussion of the use of ornamentation to disguise supporting forms and embellish supported ones.
NOTE: For those who are interested in more of an overview of Islamic architecture in general, I'd highly recommend Treasures of Islam: Artistic Glories of the Muslim World.