Treasures of Islam: Artistic Glories of the Muslim World

Bernard O'Kane, Author
Bernard O'Kane, Author . Duncan Baird $35 (224p) ISBN 978-1-84483-483-9
Reviewed on: 08/20/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-1-84483-446-4
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In this sumptuous volume, O'Kane combines an overview of Islamic art and architecture with a cursory history of Islam's empires and dynasties. Beginning with a brief discussion of the earliest mosque from the seventh century, and showing how Islamic architects created a distinctive artistic tradition, O'Kane (The Iconography of Islamic Art ) follows architectural and artistic ideas to the 19th century. Major monuments, such as the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, the Great Mosque of Damascus, the Sultan Hasan mosque in Cairo, the Alhambra in Moorish Spain and the Taj Mahal, are highlighted, as are many works of art, including colorful mosaics, lace-like wood and stone carvings and exquisite manuscript paintings. O'Kane stresses the significance of religious and secular symbolism, and points out the craftsmanship that makes this art a feast for the eye. He does a credible job of surveying a vast panorama of art and culture, but it's difficult to compress so much complex material into one volume. The wealth of glorious full-color illustrations make this beautifully designed book an excellent introduction to the art of Islam. (Oct. 24)

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