In the 1000 years following the revelations to the Prophet Muhammad in Mecca in the early seventh century AD, artists and craftsmen in the areas dominated by Islam produced some of the world's most beautiful works of art: from the Alhambra to the Taj Mahal, from illuminated copies of the Koran to exquisite decorative arts: ceramics, textiles and metalwork. Although executed in different countries and across a vast time span, there are, nonetheless, common features in this creative flowering that justify the term "Islamic Art".
In this comprehensive survey, the authors highlight those characteristics that connect the various arts of all the Islamic lands, without minimizing the differences. Dividing the time into three periods" 600-900, 900-1500 and 1500-1800, they set the artistic development in each era within its historical context and use art as a window into Islamic culture.
Written in a lively and accessible style, and illustrated throughout with photographs, maps and plans, the book brilliantly captures the essence of Islamic culture as expressed in its buildings, books and applied arts, and provides an essential introduction to the subject for both the student and the general reader.