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Islam
Islam
 
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Author : Smith Huston
Publisher : Harper Collins
ISBN# : 978-888117808-7
Pages : 317
Price :INR 995
Offer Price:INR 886
 
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Book Description
An encounter with the artistic heritage of Islam is characterized by two factors that make it very special: the vast dimension of the areas involved, from Spain to Central Asia as far as China - without forgetting the expansion to sub-Saharan Africa - and the continuation of the phenomenon during fourteen centuries of history. Is it possible to treat such a complex and multifaceted phenomenon as a single subject? The images that follow are an answer. Within the great variety of construction forms and materials, some constants stand out: for example, the attention focused on certain building types such as the mosque (in both its religious and non-religious functions), the madrasa (or koranic teaching institution) and the principal types of civic architecture such as public baths (hammam), markets (suk or bazaar) and caravanserais. These building types define the Muslim city and make it perfectly distinct and familiar, as such, at any latitude. Islam makes a strong distinction between public art (decidedly abstract) and private art where figurative art, far from disappearing, occupies a fully legitimate position with a vigour that is sometimes unexpected. The religious dictates - despite the fact that the Koran never explicitly refers to art - are linked to the rigid monotheistic credo and the inexhaustible creative activity of Allah, transformed into decorations that are often modular and are repeated without a beginning or an end. The most representative art is certainly calligraphy, with its numerous graphic variations, all of which have great visual impact. The ceramics with their extraordinary shapes and amazing range of colours, the metalwork with damascening of precious materials and an unequalled taste of subtle detail, the textiles with refined silks that almost constitute a separate art and the carpets, which although not a prerogative of Islam alone, do well illustrate its unending diversity, all form the portrait of a very rich artistic culture that is never monotonous.
 
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