Islamic Art and Beyond: Constructing the Study of Islamic Art, Volume III, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Islamic Art and Beyond

Constructing the Study of Islamic Art, Volume III, 1st Edition

By Oleg Grabar


388 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780860789260
pub: 2006-04-28
SAVE ~$46.00

FREE Standard Shipping!


Islamic Art and Beyond is the third in a set of four volumes of studies on Islamic art by Oleg Grabar. Between them they bring together more than eighty articles, studies and essays, work spanning half a century by a master of the field. Each volume takes a particular section of the topic, the three other volumes being entitled: Early Islamic Art, 650-1100; Islamic Visual Culture, 1100-1800; and Jerusalem. Reflecting the many incidents of a long academic life, they illustrate one scholar's attempt at making order and sense of 1400 years of artistic growth. They deal with architecture, painting, objects, iconography, theories of art, aesthetics and ornament, and they seek to integrate our knowledge of Islamic art with Islamic culture and history as well as with the global concerns of the History of Art. In addition to the articles selected, each volume contains an introduction which describes, often in highly personal ways, the context in which Grabar's scholarship developed and the people who directed and mentored his efforts. The articles in the present volume illustrate how the author's study of Islamic art led him in two directions for a further understanding of the arts. One is how to define Islamic art and what impulses provided it with its own peculiar forms and dynamics of growth. Was it a faith or a combination of social, historical, and cultural events? And how has 'Islamic art' impacted on the contemporary arts of the Islamic world? The other issue is that of the meanings to be given to forms like domes, so characteristic of Islamic art, or to terms like symbol, signs, or aesthetic values in the arts, especially when one considers the contemporary world. The Islamic examples allow for the development of new intellectual positions for the history and criticism of the arts everywhere.


'Ashgate Variorum has now acknowledged Grabar's signal contribution to the field with a beautifully produced four-volume collection of his shorter publications. Grabar's former students and numerous other fans will welcome the ready access this matched set affords to scores of Grabar's articles… Even readers broadly familliar with Grabar's variegated contributions to the field will find something new here. In its very thougthful thematic arrangement, this collection presents a comprehensive methodological overview that truly lives up to its series title, Constructing the Study of Islamic Art… All in all, this marvelous collection by a truly memorable man belongs in every serious art history collection.' Religion and the Arts

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction. Part One Theory of Art: History of art and history of literature: some random thoughts; An art of the object; On the universality of the history of art; From utopia to paradigms; Geometry and ideology: the Festival of Islam and the study of Islamic art; Different but compatible ends; Die ethische Dimension des Ornaments; Islamic ornament and Western abstraction. Part Two General Islamic Architecture: The Islamic dome, some considerations; The architecture of the Middle Eastern city: the case of the mosque; Art and architecture; Cities and citizens: the growth and culture of urban Islam; Symbols and signs of Islamic architecture; The meaning of history in Cairo; Architecture as art; From dome of heaven to pleasure dome; Graffiti or proclamations: why write on buildings? Part Three General Islamic Art: What makes Islamic art Islamic; Islamic art and archaeology; Reflections on the study of Islamic art; On catalogs, exhibitions and complete works; Between connoisseurship and technology: a review; The aesthetics of Islamic art. Index.

About the Author

Oleg Grabar is Professor Emeritus in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA, and Aga Khan Professor Emeritus of Islamic Art and Architecture at Harvard University, USA.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / History / General
HISTORY / General