The author is extremely knowledgable and the book covers a wide range of material, and there is a wealth of very nice photos of important works of art and architecture. It covers Islamic art from its beginnings in the 7th century to the 16th century, in roughly chronological order, arranged by political dynasty.
The writing style could use some improvement--it's not very engaging and is often dry. Sentence structures tend to be grammatically correct but sometimes hard to process. The overall discourse jumps around, no doubt to cover a lot of ground, but sometimes leaves the reader with not much of a big picture idea. The level of the book is strange: it introduces historical background that is quite elementary (like the Sunni/Shi'a split) but without enough detail to fully appreciate its effects on Islamic art, and then uses terms that are less familiar, assuming some prior knowledge of the subject.
This surveys a lot of examples and gives the reader a great deal of data, but is not intended to set Islamic art and architecture in a grand narrative, so for the casual learner interested in an introduction to the subject, the result can be a bit bewildering.
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd; 1 edition (25 January 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0500203059
- ISBN-13: 978-0500203057
- Product Dimensions: 15 x 1.8 x 21.1 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 567 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 345,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)