(New York): Thames & Hudson, (1996),
First American Edition of this Revised and Expanded edition. quarto, black cloth in dust jacket. 239 pp. Thames & Hudson, Item #31192
Calligraphy, the art that combines visual image and written word, is perhaps at its most brilliant in the arts of Islam. Islamic calligraphy traditionally took its inspiration from the Muslim belief in the divine origin of Arabic writing, the medium through which the Qur'anic revelation to the Prophet Muhammad was recorded. In early Islam the use of Arabic writing is sacred, and official texts gave rise to a wonderful profusion of scripts and a calligraphic tradition that has flourished for over a thousand years not only in manuscript decoration but in architecture, ceramics, and painting. With chapters on the use of calligraphy in architecture and contemporary painting, The Splendor of Islamic Calligraphy provides a comprehensive and fascinating survey of the subject from its earliest origins to the present day. It explains the geometrical and ornamental principles of calligraphy with the help of numerous line drawings, and examines the interdependence of script and page decoration. It gives an overview of the many complex variations of this most graphic form of writing and traces its evolution up to its current expression in the paintings of artists such as Shakir Hassan. Finally, and perhaps most important, it contains outstanding examples of scriptskufic, thuluth, naskhi, and maghribi among othersin a series of magnificent reproductions of manuscript pages, paintings, and other works of art. 232 illustrations, 98 in color. Very fine in very fine dust jacket.