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Article

Hasan-Uddin Khan

(b Tehran, March 9, 1939).

Iranian architect, urban planner and writer. He studied architecture at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh (BA, 1961) and at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (March, 1962). He worked in several firms in the USA, including Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, before returning to Iran to work for the National Iranian Oil Company (1964–6). In 1966 he became Design Partner for Iran’s largest archictectural firm, Abdul Aziz Farman Farmaian & Associates, in Tehran, and in 1972 he set up his own practice in Tehran, the Mandala Collaborative. Ardalan, whose work ranges from private residences to master plans for new towns, is one of the most important architects to emerge from Iran in the recent past. His work reflects his particular concern for cultural and ecological aspects of architecture; in Iran it is strongly rooted in an understanding of the traditions and forms of Iranian Islam, although his buildings are in a totally contemporary idiom. Perhaps his best-known work is the Iran Centre for Management Studies (...

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

(b Antalya, 1922).

Turkish architect and writer. He studied architecture at the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul. As a student of Sedad Hakkı Eldem, and later as his teaching assistant, he was influenced by Eldem’s ideas on the nature of national architecture. Cansever began his career working in urban planning in Istanbul. During the 1950s, however, he began to attract attention with buildings and designs that incorporated new technology and materials but also referred to the past. His Karatepe Museum (1954–61) near Adana, for example, had slab roofs of poured concrete, but the open porches and corner windows refer to historical and regional architectural traditions. He adopted this approach for other buildings, including the Anadolu Club (1959; with Abdurrahman Hancı) at Büyükada, Istanbul, which combines a traditional T-plan with a meticulous treatment of details, particularly the windows; a block of flats in Çiftehavuzlar, Istanbul; and the partly realized Terakki Foundation School in Istanbul. This approach also inspired the ...

Article

Barry Bergdoll

(b Marseille, Nov 26, 1787; d Marseille, Feb 8, 1879).

French architect and writer. The designer of many of the principal public buildings of Marseille, he also published the first accurate records of the Islamic monuments of Cairo, North Africa and the Middle East—a central interest of mid-19th-century architectural theorists and ornamentalists.

After studying both engineering and drawing in Marseille, Coste began his career in 1804 as site inspector and draughtsman for the Neo-classicist Michel-Robert Penchaud, a municipal and departmental architect, for whom he worked for a decade. In 1814, on the recommendation of the architects Percier & Fontaine, he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the ateliers of Antoine-Laurent-Thomas Vaudoyer and Jean-Baptiste Labadye (1777–1850). An encounter in Paris with the geographer Jombert, who had been a member of the scientific mission that accompanied Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798, was to influence his subsequent career. In 1817 Jombert recommended Coste to Muhammad ‛Ali, Khedive of Egypt (...

Article

(b London, Sept 13, 1879; d Acton, April 8, 1974).

English historian of Islamic architecture. Born in modest circumstances, Creswell attended Westminster School, where he was active in science and mathematics, and the City and Guilds Technical College at Finsbury, where he studied electrical engineering. He became fascinated with the Orient and specifically the Islamic world, gathering systematic notes on every known monument. In 1913 and 1914 his first publications dealt with domes in Iran, concentrating on their ‘origin’ and ‘evolution’, two terms that became essential concerns of his later work. He applied for a job in the Archaeological Survey of India, but World War I intervened, and he went to Egypt in April 1916 as a member of the Royal Flying Corps. In July 1919 he was appointed Inspector of Monuments in the area (occupied by the British Army) that had formerly been Ottoman territory. With the forceful energy that stayed with him until his early nineties, he traversed Syria and Palestine, measuring buildings, recording their condition and photographing them. Out of his Syrian experience, Creswell made plans for a history of the Muslim architecture of Egypt, and after his demobilization found a patron in Fuاad I (...

Article

Hasan-Uddin Khan and Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair

(b Alexandria, March 23, 1900; d Cairo, Nov 30, 1989).

Egyptian architect, teacher and writer. He graduated in architecture (1926) from the High School of Engineering, University of King Fuad I (now University of Cairo), and then worked at the Department of Municipal Affairs, Cairo (1926–30). He subsequently began to teach at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the university (1930–46 and 1953–7) while working independently as an architect. Fathy’s work can be considered in five main phases (see Steele, 1988). His early projects (1928–37) reveal his interest in the classical Beaux-Arts tradition, Art Deco and other trends fashionable in Europe at the time. In his second phase (1938–56) he developed the interest in indigenous building that made him internationally known. Starting with villas, the use of mud-brick and a preoccupation with the rural poor, Fathy evolved a new aesthetic that irrevocably linked him to local vernacular building traditions. This new direction was expressed in a series of beautiful gouaches and coloured pencil drawings (see Richards, Serageldin and Rastorfer, pls 1–8) exhibited in Mansoura and Cairo in ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Chaumont, Haute-Marne, Jan 21, 1881; d Paris, July 31, 1965).

French archaeologist and art historian, active in Iran. Godard qualified as an architect at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and in 1910 became involved with the urban planning of Baghdad. At this time, he began to develop an interest in the archaeology and art of the Middle East. He visited Egypt and Syria and, in 1923, went to Afghanistan to research Buddhist remains. In 1928 he settled in Iran, where he lived until 1960, except for the years 1953–6. During his years in Iran he directed the College of Fine Arts, Tehran, and the Department of Antiquities, founded the Archaeological (Iran Bastan) Museum and drew up plans for the museums of Mashhad and Abadan. He also initiated the documentation and restoration of many ancient monuments and archaeological remains and gained access to sites previously forbidden to non-Muslims. He published many of the principal monuments of Iran in such learned journals as ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(Emil)

(b Celle, July 23, 1879; d Basle, Jan 21, 1948).

German architect, archaeologist, historian and philologist. He was educated at the universities of Munich and Berlin and at the Technische Hochschule, Charlottenburg, where he trained as an architect. In 1903 he visited the Middle East by participating as field architect in the excavation of Assur by the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft. The expedition was led by Friedrich Delitzsch, Herzfeld’s instructor in Assyrian and Arabic, and it enabled him to learn the techniques of excavation and to develop his interest in early Islamic culture. After returning to Germany, he made a journey through Luristan to visit Pasargadae and Persepolis, and following the acceptance of his doctoral thesis on Pasargadae by the University of Berlin in 1907, he travelled with Friedrich Sarre, his lifelong colleague and friend whom he had met in 1905, from Istanbul via Aleppo and Baghdad to the Gulf to find an Islamic site suitable for excavation. The choice fell upon ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. 2 Aug. 1941, Damgarten, Germany).

British historian of Islamic art and architecture. Hillenbrand was educated at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, earning his D.Phil. in 1974. Three years earlier he had begun teaching in the Department of Fine Art in the University of Edinburgh, where he occupied the position formerly held by D. T. Rice. He remained there throughout his career, being awarded a chair in 1989. He trained several generations of younger scholars from Europe, the USA and the Middle East. His home in Edinburgh was where he and his wife Carole, a noted historian, entertained scholars in diverse fields of Islamic studies. Holder of visiting professorships at several universities in Europe and the United States, he delivered the 1993 Kevorkian Lectures at New York University. One of the most versatile and eloquent scholars of his generation, his interests focused on Islamic architecture, painting and iconography, with particular reference to Iran and early Islamic Syria....

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Paris, 1926).

Turkish historian of Islamic architecture. He studied in the faculty of architecture at Istanbul Technical University under Emin Onat, receiving his degree in 1949 for a study of Turkish Baroque architecture. He spent 1954–5 in Italy investigating Renaissance architecture, and 1962–3 in the USA on a Fulbright Fellowship. The following year he was a fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC, where he studied Byzantine architecture in Anatolia, and for the next decade he was involved in the study and restoration of the Byzantine church known as Kalenderhane Cami in Istanbul. He taught architectural history and restoration at Istanbul Technical University from 1958 until his retirement in 1993 and was dean of the architecture faculty from 1974 to 1977. From 1978 to 1983 he served on the first Aga Khan Award for Architecture, and in 1980–81 he was Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His voluminous scholarship combines a thorough knowledge of European architectural history and theory with a close and intimate reading of Turkish and Islamic buildings and their structure....

Article

Yuka Kadoi

(b. Vienna, 6 Nov. 1941; d. Berlin, 10 Jan. 1995).

German art historian, archaeologist and museum curator of Islamic art. Meinecke already developed an interest in Islamic art and architecture during his stay in Istanbul at an early age. He read art history, archaeology and Islamic studies in Vienna and Hamburg and completed his dissertation on the ceramic architectural decoration of Saljuq monuments in Anatolia in 1968. A year later he joined the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, where he undertook an architectural survey of historical buildings in the old city. His magna opus on the study of Mamluk architecture, which was accepted as Habilitationschrift by the University of Hamburg in 1978 and published in 1992, remains a standard in the field of Islamic architectural studies. After a short teaching period at the University of Hamburg between 1977 and 1980, he returned to the Middle East and became involved in the foundation of the German Archaeological Institute in Damascus. He left Syria in ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

b Milan, Jan 16, 1881; d Rome, Nov 4, 1954).

Italian archaeologist, art historian and epigrapher. Descended from a French noble family from Burgundy that had moved to Piedmont at the time of the French Revolution, he trained as an architect and then taught medieval architecture at the Politecnico in Milan. His early writings (to 1920) were devoted mainly to the art and architecture of Italy, especially Lombardy; his interests then turned to the Christian and Islamic Orient. In 1923 he published a work on the sculpture at Ahnas (see Herakleopolis Magna [anc. Egyp. Henen-nesut; Copt. Ahnas; Arab. Ihnasya el-Medina]), in which he showed how Coptic art developed out of Hellenistic and Egyptian traditions. This was followed in 1930 by a monograph on the Islamic necropolis at Aswan, and archaeological research in Nubia led him to explain the political and cultural significance of that region in the medieval period. In 1934 he moved to Rome and, after the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b Barrow-in Furness, 1935).

British historian of Islamic art. After studying philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford and teaching philosophy there, his interests gradually shifted to Islamic art, particularly the art and architecture of Seljuq Anatolia, about which he eventually wrote his Ph.D. He taught at the American University of Cairo from 1965 until 1977, when he joined the Department of Oriental Antiquities at the British Museum. From 1991 to 2000 he was the Nasser D. Khalili Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and has been Honorary Curator of the Khalili Collection of Islamic Art since 1992. His extensive and meticulous scholarship, largely found in hundreds of learned articles, chapters, and reviews, is marked by his fluency in many languages and vast knowledge of primary sources.

J. M. Rogers: The Spread of Islam (Oxford, 1976) J. M. Rogers: Islamic Art and Design 1500–1700 (exh. cat., London, BM, 1983)...

Article

In its most general sense, spolia (pl., from Lat. spolium: ‘plunder’) denotes all artifacts re-employed in secondary contexts, from building blocks reused in a wall to pagan gems mounted on a Christian reliquary. It is a matter of debate whether this broad application of the term is justified, or whether it should be restricted to the relatively small subset of reused objects that were taken or ‘stripped’ (like spoils) from their original context, rather than found, purchased, inherited or otherwise acquired by non-violent means. It is likewise debated when the use of spolia should be considered meaningful, if at all. Arnold Esch defined five possible motives for using spolia: convenience, profanation, Christianization, political legitimation and aesthetic attraction. Michael Greenhalgh has argued for reducing the motives to three (at least with regard to marble): pragmatism, aesthetics and ideology; while Finbarr Barry Flood cautioned against reductive interpretations generated by any taxonomy, insisting that reused objects are mutable in meaning and capable of multiple interpretations during their life cycle....