Islamic Art: Close-Up
Sheila R. Canby
This stunning book offers an introduction to and an exceptional view of an imposing collection of arts from across the Islamic world, highlighting outstanding examples of design, workmanship and craft in paintings and manuscripts, calligraphy, metalwork, ceramics, jade, glass, wood and ivory. The book opens with an explanation of the characteristics common to artistic creativity stretching back to the seventh century, from Spain to Indonesia. Works of superlative quality are then organised into chapters relating to central themes such as religion and belief, the supernatural and natural worlds, feasting, the hunt, war, music and power. The author explores each magnificent artwork in turn, providing cultural context and pointing out special features. By showing the complete artwork as well as enlarged details – sometimes virtually invisible to the naked eye – intriguing comparisons can be drawn and juxtapositions made between seemingly unrelated media. The selection of illustrations evokes the hand and eye of the most accomplished artists of the Islamic world.