Design and Color in Islamic Architecture: Eight Centuries of the Tile-Makers's Art

Sabrina Michaud, Photographer, Roland Michaud, Photographer, Roland Michaud, Author
Sabrina Michaud, Photographer, Roland Michaud, Photographer, Roland Michaud, Author Vendome Press $85 (0p) ISBN 978-0-86565-975-9
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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A pristine 12th-century minaret hidden in Afghanistan's mountains for centuries and discovered only in 1957; a sky-blue mausoleum in Samarkand, built for Timur's niece in 1371; spectacular tiles from Istanbul's Topkapi Palace; intricately decorated medieval Iranian shrines erected under Islamized Mongol rulers--these are some of the exotic sites explored by the Michauds in their leisurely photo-essay stretching from Central Asia to Pakistan. Their odyssey, splendidly illustrated with 158 color photos, is organized around an unusual framework: their eloquent, free-form translation of Azerbaijani poet Nezami of Ganjeh's Persian verse romance The Brides of the Seven Climes, written in 1197, a Scheherazade-like saga that purports to unlock the sacred cosmic symbolism of the seven colors used by medieval Persian ceramists on their walls and domes. An informative essay by Barry, a Parisian scholar specializing in medieval Islamic civilization, encompasses glazed brickwork architecture ranging from 4th-century B.C. Macedonian mosaics to Moghul forts and palaces in India. (Oct.)
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