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Making Sense of Islamic Art & Architecture is designed to equip the cultural tourist and art student with the means to interpret each painting, building, or artifact in terms of the iconography and symbolism of Islam. With reference to 100 clearly illustrated and diverse historical works, readers will learn to identify the telling details that mean so much to Muslims. The book's layout is both visually striking and accessible. Each double-page spread features a full-page colour photograph of either a detail of the work or its context, depending on the subject, with a second photograph chosen to illustrate important aspects of the work. Alongside is a detailed exposition of the work's significance in Islamic art history and philosophy, with key historical facts about the work, including where it may be seen today. By tracing the paths between Islamic belief and artistic intention, this book will deepen understanding not only of Islamic art and architecture but also of Islam itself.
This is a luxuriously illustrated catalogue of more than forty extraordinary Persian miniature paintings, illuminated manuscripts and elaborately decorated bookbindings in The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, dating from the period before the Mongol invasions (11th12th centuries CE) to the early 20th century. It includes rare examples from the pre-Mongol invasion period; fine illuminations of Quran manuscripts; Munis al-Ahrar , an important early fourteenth-century anthology by Muhammad ibn Badr al-Din al-Jajarmi; material from dispersed manuscripts of Firdawsis Shah-nameh; two previously unpublished copies of Qazwinis Ajaib al-Makhluqat; three copies of Nizamis Khamsah; Sadis Golestan; and Jamis Yusuf and Zulaykha and Subhat al-Abrar as well as paintings from dispersed Safavid and post-Safavid albums, and seventeenth- century bookbindings and oil paintings from the Zand and Qajar periods.
This book is a celebration of tactile beauty and a tribute to human ingenuity. In-depth profiles tell the stories of 20 artisans who have devoted their lives to preserving traditional techniques. Gorgeous photographs reveal these craftspeople's studios, from Oaxaca to Kyoto and from Milan to Tennessee. Two essays explore the challenges and rewards of engaging deeply with the past. With an elegant three-piece case and foil stamping, this rich volume will be an inspiration to makers, collectors, and history lovers.
The Spanish colonial period in South America saw artists develop the subgenre of official portraiture, or portraits of key individuals in the continent's viceregal governments. Although these portraits appeared to illustrate a narrative of imperial splendor and absolutist governance, they instead became a visual record of the local history that emerged during the colonial occupation. Using the official portrait collections accumulated between 1542 and 1830 in Lima, Buenos Aires, and Bogota as a lens, Pictured Politics explores how official portraiture originated and evolved to become an essential component in the construction of Ibero-American political relationships. Through the surviving portraits and archival evidence-including political treatises, travel accounts, and early periodicals-Emily Engel demonstrates that these official portraits not only belie a singular interpretation as tools of imperial domination but also visualize the continent's multilayered history of colonial occupation. The first stand alone analysis of South American portraiture, Pictured Politics brings to light the historical relevance of political portraits in crafting the history of South American colonialism.
A boxed set containing Every Thread a Story and The Secret Language of Miao Embroidery, this culmination highlights artists and textiles from the Guizhou Province of China. Every Thread a Story is a tribute to ethnic minority artisans of China's Guizhou Province. It is also a tribute to the heritage craft traditions and techniques passed down through the generations of their families. The book introduces more than a dozen contemporary artists from four ethnic groups working in the techniques of their ancestors, including indigo dyers, embroiderers of varying techniques, weavers, a metalsmith, and a paper maker. A wide-ranging look to the future questions the effects of tourism and modern development on the craft and culture of southeast Guizhou Province. The Secret Language of Miao Embroidery presents, for the first-time, expert interpretations of the Miao symbols and motifs embellished on traditional clothing of the Miao peoples of China. Using examples from pieces in a museum's collection, the author provides clear descriptions and stories for 60 symbols and motifs found in highly collectible Miao textiles, focusing on southeast Guizhou Province. Detailed colour photographs accompany each motif. Both are paperback books: Every Thread a Story contains 160 pages and The Secret Language of Miao Embroidery contains 64 pages.
Beautifully illustrated with an array of Japanese art, this book offers a closer look at the rich variety of styles, decoration, motifs and patterns - and the sheer craftsmanship - of Japanese culture. Opening with an introduction that asks `What is Japanese art?', this book presents a selection of striking and fascinating art from Japan, organised into a series of thematic chapters in which the author provides cultural context while pointing out exceptional features. By showing the complete artwork alongside enlarged details - sometimes virtually invisible to the naked eye - intriguing comparisons can be drawn between seemingly unrelated pieces. The selection of illustrations evokes the hand and eye of the most accomplished Japanese craftsmen and women past and present. Offering a superb insight into a wide array of Japanese art, the book highlights - close up and in colour - outstanding examples of design and craft in prints, paintings and screens, metalwork, ceramics, wood, stone and lacquer and will provide endless creative inspiration.
Books orient, intrigue, provoke and direct the reader while editing, interpreting, encapsulating, constructing and revealing architectural representation. Binding Space: The Book as Spatial Practice explores the role of the book form within the realm of architectural representation. It proposes the book itself as another three-dimensional, complementary architectural representation with a generational and propositional role within the design process. Artists' books in particular - that is, a book made as an original work of art, with an artist, designer or architect as author - have certain qualities and characteristics, quite different from the conventional presentation and documentation of architecture. Paginal sequentiality, the structure and objecthood of the book, and the act of reading create possibilities for the book as a site for architectural imagining and discourse. In this way, the form of the book affects how the architectural work is conceived, constructed and read. In five main sections, Binding Space examines the relationships between the drawing, the building and the book. It proposes thinking through the book as a form of spatial practice, one in which the book is cast as object, outcome, process and tool. Through the book, we read spatial practice anew.
A superlative guide to traditional and contemporary Navajo sandpaintings. Few art forms are more significant to Navajo religious beliefs than the sandpainting, or ikaah. Sandpaintings play a major role in Navajo ceremonies, assisting healers to cure ailments by summoning the supreme beings' aid to restore harmony to both mind and body. In this clear, brief, yet profoundly informed text, Mark Bahti reviews the history of the sandpainting--from its original, and continuing, sacred purpose to the purely artistic creations produced and sold by some sandpainting artists today. With his collaborator, Eugene Baatsoslanii Joe, Bahti explains the meanings of the images and colors in sandpaintings and tells some of the traditional stories that they represent. Navajo Sandpaintings will enlighten both the amateur and the connoisseur of Navajo art.
This landmark study is the first comprehensive exploration of the `Proportioned Script', an Arabic writing system attributed to the Abbasid wazir (minister) Ibn Muqla and the master scribe Ibn al-Bawwab that has dominated the art of Arabic and Islamic penmanship from the 10th century to the present day. Volume One, `Sources and Principles of the Geometry of Letters', traces the origin of the Proportioned Script to the cross-cultural encounter between Greek learning and the scientific, artistic and philosophical pursuits of classical Islam. On the basis of instructions in surviving sources it identifies a grid module that serves as a common foundation for the design of all the Arabic letter shapes. In Volume Two, `From Geometric Pattern to Living Form', the authors construct each of the letter shapes on the grid module and compare their findings to samples traced by two classical master scribes. They conclude by examining the religious, aesthetic and cosmological significance of the Proportioned Script in the wider context of the Islamic cultural heritage. Drs Moustafa and Sperl have succeeded in unearthing the very foundations of Arabic penmanship, with implications for the arts of Islam as a whole.
craftsman working in a set tradition for a lifetime? What is the value of handwork? Why should even the roughly lacquered rice bowl of a Japanese farmer be thought beautiful? The late Soetsu Yanagi was the first to fully explore the traditional Japanese appreciation for objects born, not made. Mr. Yanagi sees folk art as a manifestation of the essential world from which art, philosophy, and religion arise and in which the barriers between them disappear. The implications of the author's ideas are both far-reaching and practical. Soetsu Yanagi is often mentioned in books on Japanese art, but this is the first translation in any Western language of a selection of his major writings. The late Bernard Leach, renowned British potter and friend of Mr. Yanagi for fifty years, has clearly transmitted the insights of one of Japan's most important thinkers. The seventy-six plates illustrate objects that underscore the universality of his concepts. The author's profound view of the creative process and his plea for a new artistic freedom within tradition are especially timely now when the importance of craft and the handmade object is being rediscovered.
"George Littlechild: The Spirit Giggles Within" is a stunning retrospective of a career that has spanned nearly four decades. Featuring more than 150 of the Plains Cree artist's mixed-media works, this sumptuous collection showcases the bold swaths of colour and subtle textures of Littlechild's work. Littlechild has never shied away from political or social themes. His paintings blaze with strong emotions ranging from anger to compassion, humour to spiritualism. Fully embracing his Plains Cree heritage, he combines traditional Cree elements like horses and transformative or iconic creatures with his own family and personal symbols in a unique approach. "George Littlechild: The Spirit Giggles Within" shows the evolution of an artist from his earliest works to the present day, including hints of future directions and themes. An insightful foreword by artist and curator Ryan Rice, a Mohawk from the Kahnawake First Nation in Quebec, and Littlechild's reflections on each piece build a broad understanding of Littlechild's work, his life and his views on the role of art within all cultures.
Social and behavioral scientists study religion or spirituality in various ways and have defined and approached the subject from different perspectives. In cultural anthropology and archaeology the understanding of what constitutes religion involves beliefs, oral traditions, practices and rituals, as well as the related material culture including artifacts, landscapes, structural features and visual representations like rock art. Researchers work to understand religious thoughts and actions that prompted their creation distinct from those created for economic, political, or social purposes. Rock art landscapes convey knowledge about sacred and spiritual ecology from generation to generation. Contributors to this global view detail how rock art can be employed to address issues regarding past dynamic interplays of religions and spiritual elements. Studies from a number of different cultural areas and time periods explore how rock art engages the emotions, materializes thoughts and actions and reflects religious organization as it intersects with sociopolitical cultural systems.
Netsuke have once again come to the fore in the popular imagination of the public. In part this is due to the phenomenal success of Edmund De Waals 2010 book, Hare with the Amber Eyes, which highlights a treasured netsuke collection that was challenged by war and the vicissitudes of time. Intricately carved from various materials including ivory, wood and metal, these small toggles served a practical purpose in Japan: a netsuke was used to fasten a mans sash, an integral part of Japanese costume. Up until the seventeenth century netsuke were relatively insignificant objects that were rarely of artistic interest, but as time passed they evolved in terms of both materials and workmanship, and were then used by men to flaunt their wealth or as an expression of status. Today netsuke are considered an art form in their own right and are prized by collectors around the world. They are found in a variety of forms and depict a wide range of subjects including figures of human and legendary form, ghosts, animals, botanical subjects and masks. Skilfully worked, these miniature carvings are of great artistic value, but they also provide a window into Japanese culture and society. This book brings together one hundred of the most beautiful and interesting netsuke from the extensive collection of the British Museum, each of which has its own special charm and story to tell. Uncovering the stories behind these netsuke and coupling them with stunning new photography, this book reveals why these tiny objects have captivated so many, the meaning they have held for those who wore them, and what they can tell us about Japanese everyday life.
Eight Pioneers of Malaysian Art is the result of monumental research and documentation by art historian, Dr. Tan Chee Khuan. Handsomely-produced and containing more than 200 depictions of the eight artists work, this book promises to become the definitive tome on the pioneer artists of Malaysia. Further to the beautiful paintings and artwork, the book contains exhaustive essays, notes, biodata and more, ensuring the work will prove illuminating to anyone with an interest in the work, lives and struggles of Malaysia s most important artists. Adding to the comprehensive scope of the book, there are insightful contributions from Ooi Kok Chuen, Susie Koay, Dr. Askandar Unglehrt, Lee Joo For and Brother Joseph McNally, as well as statements by the artists themselves whenever possible."
Traditional Chinese painting is one of the purest art forms in existence, continuing as it does the techniques and themes that have been employed over centuries to create the most exquisite works in ink and wash. Whether meticulously realist or vibrantly expressive, often expertly combining skilful calligraphy with stunning draughtsmanship, these works all pay homage to what went before them. Focusing on classical painting, especially the colour-infused work of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing dynasties (1644-1912), this delightful book reveals the fascinating history of Chinese painting. From Dai Jin to Ma Quan; from dramatic mountainscapes and tranquil rivers, through intricate and vivid depictions of animals and flowers, to peaceful pastoral scenes and busy tableaux of court life, the engaging text and lush reproductions ensure an enchanting read.
This unprecedented volume celebrates the survival of the wall-paintings at Bundi by presenting a stunning photographic survey of these long-hidden treasures, most published for the first time, and including both abundant details and many scenes that cannot be seen by the naked eye. The royal fort at Bundi, an isolated town in the Indian state of Rajasthan, is home to elaborately decorated palaces that are among India's most beautiful buildings. That several of the palaces have been completely closed to visitors until very recently has kept their painted walls hidden from public view, but it has also helped their preservation. The paintings depict daily life at the Bundi court from the early seventeenth to the late nineteenth centuries, as well as scenes from traditional literary and religious texts. The illustrations together reveal the rich cultural interrelationships that gave these paintings their unique power and importance.
This is the first comprehensive survey of the vast and fascinating subject of Persian flatweaves, and in particular floor covers. Previous publications on the subject have largely been dealers' restricted catalogues focusing on a narrow geographical area or the weavings of a particular group, or sections in more general books. This book thus fills a huge gap in the oriental carpet and textile literature. Flatweaves have until recently been seen as merely the products and property of the poor. Since the late 1960s, however, growing attention has been paid to the best known type of flatweave, the gelim, revealing both its quality and variety. Other flatweaves, such as the palas, which is no less frequently found than the gelim, have scarcely been mentioned in any of the literature published so far, yet are shown in this work to be objects of great beauty and diversity. The book is divided into two parts. The first deals with the cultural background to the subject. Drawing on literary sources as well
The Petroglyphs of Cheonjeon-ri are unique as prehistoric, and historic period fine-line engravings, and textual inscriptions. The chapters of this book offer a detailed exploration and analysis of the petroglyphs and texts at the Cheonjeon-ri site from a wide variety of aspects, while placing them within the broader context of the prehistoric rock art found in other parts of the globe.
The volume presents for the first time four seventeenth-century paintings commissioned by the Habsburg Ambassador Hans-Ludwig von Kuefstein after his diplomatic mission to Istanbul, accompanied by twelve gouache works from a collection in Austria. In spite of its diplomatic and political success in the Ottoman-Habsburg relations, the Kuefste in's embassy is remembered first of all for its artistic legacy documented by the ambassador's diary, the draft of a final report to the Emperor, diplomatic correspondence, a list of gifts presented and received, and last but not least, a series of gouaches, executed in Istanbul, and a series of oil paintings - which serve to illustrate various aspects of seventeenth-century Ottoman life, and provide a detailed account of the ambassador's mission. The Orientalist Museum of Qatar curatorial and conservation departments, with the assistance of external scientific experts, have embarked upon a collaborative project to provide new insights in to the history of the Ottoman-Habsburg relations. The result is the exhibition and the volume Heritage of Art Diplomacy: Memoirs of an Ambassador- the culmination of two years' restoration and research work aimed to provide a better understanding of the cultural heritage in respect to its aesthetic and historic significance and its physical integrity .
Puja and Piety celebrates the complexity of South Asian representation and iconography by examining the relationship between aesthetic expression and the devotional practice, or puja, in the three native religions of the Indian subcontinent. This stunning and authoritative catalogue presents some 150 objects created over the past two millennia for temples, home worship, festivals, and roadside shrines. From monumental painted temple hangings and painted meditation diagrams to portable pictures for pilgrims, from stone sculptures to processional bronzes and wooden chariots, from ancient terracottas to various devotional objects for domestic shrines, this volume provides much-needed context and insight into classical and popular art of India. Featuring an introduction by the eminent art historian and curator Pratapaditya Pal; accessible essays on each religious tradition by Stephen P. Huyler, John E. Cort, and Christian Luczanits; and useful guides to iconography and terms by Debashish Banerji, this richly illustrated catalogue will provide a lasting resource for readers interested in South Asian art and spirituality. Published in association with the Santa Barbara Museum of Art Exhibition organized by Susan S. Tai, Elizabeth Atkins Curator of Asian Art Exhibition dates: Santa Barbara Museum of Art, April 17-July 31, 2016.
A groundbreaking look at art made in China during the Cultural Revolution Although numerous books on the Cultural Revolution have been published, they do not analyze the profound shift in aesthetic values that occurred in China after the Communists took power. This fascinating book is the first to focus on artwork produced from the 1950s to the 1970s, when Mao Zedong was in leadership, and argues that important contributions were made during this period that require fuller consideration in Chinese art history, especially with relevance to the contemporary world. Previously, historians have tended to dismiss the art of the Cultural Revolution as pure propaganda. The authors of this volume (historians, art historians, and artists) argue that while much art produced during this time was infused with politics, and individual creativity and displays of free thought were sometimes stifled and even punished, it is short sighted to overlook the aesthetic sophistication, diversity, and accessibility of much of the imagery. Bringing together more than 200 extraordinary artworks, including oil paintings, ink scroll paintings, artist sketchbooks, posters, and objects from daily life, as well as primary documentation that has not been published outside of China or seen since the mid-20th century, this invaluable volume sheds new light on one of the most controversial and critical periods in history.
Philippe Daverio is one of Italy's most important contemporary art historians, whose discerning comments about art are voraciously consumed by the public through his writing as editor of the famed magazine Art e Dossier and his platform on a leading Italian television program Passepartout. Now, in his first full-length work of narrative nonfiction, Daverio uses the conceit of creating his own perfect museum gallery and in the process reexamines major artistic masterpieces of Western art. Daverio turns his critical eye on the place of Western art in contemporary twenty-first-century culture and how we relate to art generally. According to Daverio, we relate to the history of art based on views that crystallized in the nineteenth century, and so we look to the past to understand the present, though the present is what truly matters to everyone. Daverio means to challenge this perspective, and guided by his curiosity and personal taste, he examines key masterworks to rediscover the true meaning and power they had before they became commoditized and cliched.
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