Arab Painting

Text and Image in Illustrated Arabic Manuscripts


Arab painting, preserved mainly in manuscript illustrations of the 12th to 14th centuries, is here treated as an artistic corpus fully deserving of appreciation in its own terms, and not as a mere precursor to Persian painting. The book assembles papers by a distinguished list of scholars that illuminate the variety of material that survives in scientific as well as literary manuscripts. Because of the contexts in which the paintings appear, a major theoretical concern is, precisely, the relationship of painting to text. It rejects earlier scholarly habits of analysing paintings in isolation, and proposes the integration of text and image as a more satisfactory framework within which to elucidate the characteristics and functions of this impressive body of work.

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Anna Contadini, PhD (1992) in Islamic Art, SOAS, London University, where she is Reader in Islamic Art. Her publications include Fatimid Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A 1998) and numerous works on Islamic manuscripts, artefacts, and artistic exchanges between Europe and the Middle East.
Scholars and students of Arab painting, Islamic art, Islamic scientific and literary manuscripts, the relationship between Islam and Medieval Europe, manuscript and medieval studies.