Islamic Visual Culture, 1100–1800: Constructing the Study of Islamic Art, Volume II, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Islamic Visual Culture, 1100–1800

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

By Oleg Grabar


487 pages

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Hardback: 9780860789222
pub: 2006-04-26

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Islamic Visual Culture, 1100-1800 is the second 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 Art and Beyond; 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 focus of the present volume is on the key centuries - the eleventh through fourteenth - during which the main directions of traditional Islamic art were created and developed and for which classical approaches of the History of Art were adopted. Manuscript illustrations and the arts of objects dominate the selection of articles, but there are also forays into later times like Mughal India and into definitions of area and period styles, as with the Mamluks in Egypt and the Ottomans, or into parallels between Islamic and Christian medieval arts.


'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 1 Objects: Two pieces of metalwork at the University of Michigan; Les arts mineurs de l'Orient musulman à partir du milieu du XIIe siècle; Trade with the East and the influence of Islamic art on the 'luxury arts' in the West; The shared culture of objects; Epigrafika Vostoka, a critical review. Part 2 Art of the Book: A newly discovered illustrated manuscript of the Maqamat of Hariri; Notes on the iconography of the 'Demotte' Shahname; The illustrated Maqamat of the 13th century: the bourgeoisie and the arts; Pictures or commentaries: the illustrations of the Maqamat of al-Hariri; About an Arabic Dioskorides manuscript; Toward an aesthetic of Persian painting; About two Mughal miniatures; A preliminary note on two 18th-century representations of Mecca and Medina. Part 3 Architecture and Culture: The inscriptions of the Madrasa-Mausoleum of Qaytbay; Isfahan as a mirror of Persian architecture; Reflections on Mamluk art; An exhibition of high Ottoman art; The meanings of Sinan's architecture; The many gates of Ottoman art; The Crusades and the development of Islamic art. Part 4 Islamic Art and the West: Islamic architecture and the West: influences and parallels; Patterns and ways of cultural exchange; Europe and the Orient: an ideologically charged exhibition; Classical forms in Islamic art and some implications; Islamic art and architecture and the antique. Index.

About the Author

Oleg Grabar is Emeritus Professor 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]

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Subject Categories

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