How to Read Islamic Carpets (The Metropolitan Museum of Art - How to Read) : Denny, Walter By Walter Denny

    Carpets made in the Rug Belt an area that includes Morocco, North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and northern India have been a source of fascination and collecting since the th century This engaging and accessible book explores the history, design techniques, materials, craftsmanship, and socioeconomic contexts of these works, promoting a better understanding and appreciation of these frequently misunderstood pieces Fifty five examples of Islamic carpets are illustrated with new photographs and revealing details The lively texts guide readers, teaching them how to read clues present in the carpets Walter B Denny situates these carpets within the cultural and social realm of their production, be it a nomadic encampment, a rural village, or an urban workshop This is an essential guide for students, collectors, and professionals who want to understand the art of the Islamic carpet How to Read Islamic Carpets (The Metropolitan Museum of Art - How to Read) : Denny, Walter

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    Thank you for the very useful book! 144 pages This is an absolutely marvelous book. It was sorely needed to fill a much felt void. This book offers new per spectives on an art form that has mesmerized viewers for centuries with its beauty, sophistication, and seem ingly endless variety of styles. Using accessible texts and stunning new photography, How to Read Islamic Cal ligraphy introduces readers to the major Islamic script types and explains the various contexts, whether secu lar or sacred, in which each one came to be used. Beauty and brilliance emerge in equal measure from works of every medium, from lavishly illuminated Qur’an manuscripts, to glassware etched with poetic verses, to ceramic tiles brushed with benedictions. The sheer breadth of objects illustrated in these pages exemplifies the ubiquity of calligraphy in the arts of Islam and the vitality of its role in Islamic culture.First things first. While this book does start with the Arabic letters and their English transliteration, it does however require the reader to have basic Arabic reading skills. For those wishing to learn basic Arabic reading skills quickly, I suggest they first read “Arabic Coins and how to read them” by Richard Plant.The author explains how the sheer beauty of Islamic Calligraphy that appears in myriad forms and styles, ranging from elegant and refined to decorative, and from eminently readable to abstract and barely legible. It is remarkable for its pervasive use as a mode of ornament on architecture and objects in an array of media. As such, the calligraphic art form reaches far beyond its fundamental function as a vehicle for written communi cation. Indeed, no other culture has explored the decorative and creative possibilities of the written word as extensively as Islam.Explaining about the early Qur’ans, the author start off by explaining that the Arabic alphabet consists of eighteen primary letter forms (rasm), mostly consonants and long vowels, that with the help of dots (i‘jam) and diacritical (accent) marks express twenty eight phonetic sounds. Early manuscripts of the Qur’an were written with a reed pen on parchment and generally penned in kufic, a script known for its thick, angular, and minimal forms, its clarity, and the horizontal extension of letters along the baseline. Many early Qur’ans were devoid of both i‘jams, which phonetically distinguish letters of similar shape, and short vowel marks, which aid pronunciation. As the text of the Qur’an was often memorized, not read word for word, such copies served as aide mémoire for oral recitation.The introduction of paper from China in the eighth century and its widespread use led to the development of new, readable scripts. The “new Abbasid style,” or “new style,” is characterized by the extreme verticali ty of the shafts of the letters, sharp angular forms, a contrast between thick and thin strokes, and the con sistent application of diacritical and vocalization marks.The tenth century Abbasid vizier and calligrapher Abu ‘Ali Muhammad ibn Muqla developed a proportional writing system of calibrated letters. Basing the system on two geometric shapes—a circle with the diameter of the letter alif and the rhomboid dot created by the stroke of the nib of a reed pen (see diagram)—he canon ized the six classical cursive scripts (the aqlam al sitta): naskh, thuluth, muhaqqaq, rayhan, tawqi‘, and riqa‘. Each script was suited to a particular purpose. For instance, naskh was ideal for copying books and small Qur’ans while thuluth and muhaqqaq were appropriate for large Qur’ans, objects, and architectural surfaces.Some scripts remained tied to a particular region, but others were adopted widely. For example, maghribi was exclusive to Spain and North Africa, whereas nasta‘liq, an elegant and lyrical script that originated in Iran and Central Asia, spread eastward to Mughal India and westward to Ottoman Turkey.Above: Page 9 from the book showing the six classical cursive scripts, and the Regional scripts.Above: Page 30 of the book: Folio from a Qur’an in playful floriated script, Iran or Central Asia, Seljuq, 11th century, ink, opaque, water colors, and gold on paper, demonstrating the balancing act performed by the calligrapher who sought to highlight the importance of design and composition while communicating the content of the sacred vers es.Above: Pages 56 57 of the book: Bifolium from the Andalusian “Pink Qur’an” in Maghribi Script, Spain, possibly Granada or Valencia, ca. 13th century, Ink, gold, silver, and opaque watercolor on paper. This bifolium belongs to a luxurious Qur’an named for the pinkish hue of its paper, which may have come from Jativa, reportedly the site of the first paper mill in Spain. The verses are penned in a bold maghribi script in dark brown ink with gold diacritical and vocalization marks outlined in brown, blue, and green. Pause and prostration marks take the form of disks and tear drops. The format is unusual, as most Spanish Qur’ans were square and written on parchment rather than on paper.The book is lavishly illustrated with colored photos of absolutely stunning and extremely rare folios taken from across the Islamic world courtesy of the world famous New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Printed in It aly on quality paper, this is a must have for every library, and would be an ideal gift for any occasion. 144 pages Great handbook of Islamic Caligraphy, it’s origins and evolution.Attention: it’s not a book that teaches you how to write or how to understand arabic calligraphies. 144 pages I'm on page 20, and the writing is really bad. The descriptions of dyeing and weaving are very poorly organized and unclear. This section reads like it wasn't edited. 144 pages Excellent book. Clear explanations of different patterns' history and provenance. 144 pages

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