The finest examples of this distinctive Islamic art form ever published.
Within three centuries of its advent, Islam had produced an architecture and a calligraphic art, including that of illumination, that have seldom been equaled and never surpassed, the one centered on the Mosque and the other on the Qur'an. But whereas Islamic architecture is world famous, its calligraphic art has remained relatively unknown and inaccessible. Black-and-white photographs of the art of calligraphy are plentiful, but a page of script, impressive though it can be in black and white, loses much without the tints of the paper and the ink.Splendours of Qur'an Calligraphy and Illumination reproduces the formal excellence of colors and texture that distinguish these artistic masterpieces. In all, 180 openings are displayed, carefully chosen from the greatest collections of Qur'an manuscripts in the world.
|Publisher:||Thames & Hudson|
|Product dimensions:||9.90(w) x 13.50(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
Martin Lings lectured at Cairo University for twelve years, and served as Keeper of Oriental Manuscripts at the British Museum.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Whether you are an artist with an interest in Islamic art, for this is its basis, or you are interested in the faith itself or both, this book is a masterwork. Lings is one of the foremost English language experts on Islam and one of its great masters in the 20th century. A search for "Martin Lings" will reveal more of his many books including his discussion of William Shakespeare and Islam. Opening the book from the front, as for English works, you will be treated to an expert explanation of the origin and context of the art detailing each page you will see. This includes the history of Arabic writing and Calligraphy as it has evolved with the revelation and experience of Islam. Lings is a master at explaining Islam to the uninitiated and it helps to learn something of the faith to understand its art. From the other side, or front as it would be for Arabic books and as sacred Arabic should be read, you will see the beautiful photographs of some of the finest examples of Koranic calligraphy you will ever see. This section lets the art speak for itself without English commentary. This separation of commentary from the art is really great as you can learn of these works with separately with head and heart. Lings explains this too in his commentary. My only frustration is that there is no citation of exactly what verse in the Koran is shown in the images. However, I just will have to learn more and so I accept the challenge. The book is also advertised in Europe with a very nice slip cover which is not included in the US version.