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Edinburgh University Press
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Joint Winner of the 2007 British-Kuwait Friendship Society Prize for Middle Eastern StudiesWinner of 2008 World Prize for Book of the Year by the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic GuidanceSelected as a 2007 CHOICE Outstanding Academic TitleThis stunning book is an important contribution to a key area of non-western art, being the first reference...
Joint Winner of the 2007 British-Kuwait Friendship Society Prize for Middle Eastern StudiesWinner of 2008 World Prize for Book of the Year by the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic GuidanceSelected as a 2007 CHOICE Outstanding Academic TitleThis stunning book is an important contribution to a key area of non-western art, being the first reference work on the art of beautiful writing in Arabic script.The extensive use of writing is a hallmark of Islamic civilization. Calligraphy, the art of beautiful writing, became one of the main methods of artistic expression from the seventh century to the present in almost all regions from the far Maghrib, or Islamic West, to India and beyond. Arabic script was adopted for other languages from Persian and Turkish to Kanembu and Malay. Sheila S. Blair's groundbreaking book explains this art form to modern readers and shows them how to identify, understand and appreciate its varied styles and modes. The book is designed to offer a standardized terminology for identifying and describing various styles of Islamic calligraphy and to help Westerners appreciate why calligraphy has long been so important in Islamic civilization.The argument is enhanced by the inclusion of more than 150 colour illustrations, as well as over a hundred black-and-white details that highlight the salient features of the individual scripts and hands. Examples are chosen from dated or datable examples with secure provenance, for the problem of forgeries and copies (both medieval and modern) is rampant. The illustrations are accompanied by detailed analyses telling the reader what to look for in determining both style and quality of script.This beautiful new book is an ideal reference for anyone with an interest in Islamic art.
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