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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

Hasan-Uddin Khan

(Tabatabai)

(b Tehran, March 5, 1937).

Iranian architect, urban planner and painter. He studied architecture at Howard University, Washington, DC, graduating in 1964 and then adding a year of post-graduate studies in sociology. He returned to Tehran in 1966 and a year later became President and Senior Designer of DAZ Consulting Architects, Planners and Engineers. DAZ undertook numerous and diverse projects in Iran and grew rapidly; it had a staff of 150 in 1977. Diba worked entirely in the public sector in Iran and was interested in both vernacular traditions and the demands of modern urban society, especially for human interaction. The partially completed Shushtar New Town (1974–80) in Khuzestan, where he was both architect and planner, owes much of its success to the traditional construction patterns and building types used by Diba in place of the Western-style planning favoured by the authorities. The town, planned for a population of 30,000, was designed along a central communications spine with crossroads and public squares around which small neighbourhoods were established, with gardens and bazaars to encourage community life. The poetic brick-clad buildings produce a unified architecture that is elegant, and the sequencing of the urban spaces is highly refined. Other significant works in Iran include several buildings at Jondi Shapour University (...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Tripoli, Libya, 1945).

Libyan painter. He returned to Libya in 1970 after graduating from the Plymouth School of Architecture and Design in England. In 1974 he was appointed consultant to the Festival of Islam in London, and in 1981 he settled in England. He typically uses individual letter forms based on the maghribī style of script typical of North Africa, setting one or two large letters against a richly textured abstract ground with accompanying excerpts from Arabic and world literature that address social and moral issues. His works have been exhibited in more than 60 solo and group exhibitions and can be found in many major museums. Chairman of Muslim Cultural Heritage Center in London, he has also been involved with several other cultural and intellectual institutions there.

A. O. Ermes: Ali Omar Ermes: Art and Ideas: Works on Paper (exh. cat., Oxford, Ashmolean, 1992)A. O. Ermeswith S. Rizvi: Reaching Out: Conversations on Islamic Art with Ali Omar Ermes...

Article

(b Peshawar, Oct 25, 1926).

Pakistani painter and sculptor. He began painting while training as an engineer in the USA (Columbia and Harvard universities) and held his first exhibition in 1950. He continued to paint while secretary at the Pakistan embassy at Ottawa during the 1950s, developing a reputation for portraiture. In 1957 he was commissioned to paint the portrait of King Zahir Shah of Afghanistan, and in 1959 he held an exhibition of 151 paintings and sketches in Kabul. He also painted portraits of Prince Karim Aga Khan (1961), Zhou Enlai (1964), Queen Farah Diba of Iran (1965) and President Ayub Khan of Pakistan (1968). He then turned to making portraits from marble mosaic and semi-precious stones, a technique that he had developed in Kabul in 1959. His abstract paintings, produced since the 1960s, incorporate ornamental calligraphy, coloured beads, small pieces of mirror, and gold and silver leaf. These works include a large abstract mural painted in ...

Article

Heather Elgood

[Tulsi]

(fl c. 1560–1600).

Indian miniature painter. His work is characterized by an archaic quality, evenly spaced figures and a simple cross-section in architectural design that suggests his training in the indigenous pre-Mughal tradition. The earliest reference to both Tulsi and Tulsi Kalan (‘the Elder’) appears in the Razmnāma (‘Book of wars’; c. 1582–6; Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Mus., MS. AG. 1683–1850). Tulsi was given sole charge of three paintings (fols 45, 105 and 62) and Tulsi Kalan fol. 167. As a designer he worked on four folios with other artists, one of whom was Tulsi Khurd (‘the Younger’). Tulsi acted as painter for a design by Basawan and Lal and Tulsi Kalan for Daswanth. In the Tīmūrnāma (‘History of Timur’; c. 1580; Bankipur, Patna, Khuda Bakhsh Lib.) he had sole charge of one painting and worked on five folios as designer/outliner; he also acted as painter for Isar and Madhu Kalan. In the ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit and Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair

[‛Abdallāh Khān]

(fl c. 1810–50).

Persian painter and architect. Trained in the apprentice system in royal workships, he rose through the ranks and in 1839 he was appointed by Muhammad Shah Qajar (reg 1834–48) painter laureate (naqqāsh bāshī), court architect (mi‛mār bāshī) and supervisor of royal workshops in charge of painters, architects, designers, enamelers, masons, carpenters, potters, blacksmiths, spearmen, candlemakers, keepers of the palace, glass-cutters and gardeners. His major work was a large mural with 118 life-size figures covering three walls in the interior of the Nigaristan Palace at Tehran (destr.; see Islamic art, §VIII, 11(i)). On the end wall the Qajar monarch Fath ‛Ali Shah (reg 1797–1834) was depicted enthroned in state surrounded by his sons; on the side walls he was attended by a double row of courtiers and foreign ambassadors, including the British ambassador Sir Gore Ouseley (1770–1844) and Napoleon’s envoy C. M. Gardane (...

Article

Although landscape was never an important art genre in Islamic art, the beauty of nature provided an important source of inspiration for the artists of the Islamic lands. Buildings from early Islamic times, such as the Dome of the Rock (692; see Jerusalem §II 1., (iii)) and the Great Mosque of Damascus (705–15; see Damascus §3), show an extensive use of landscape elements in their decoration, presumably in association with the image of paradise. Apart from indigenously developed views towards landscape, Muslim awareness of the potential of nature for their artistic expression owed much to two foreign catalysts—China and Europe. Along with the introduction of Chinese pictorial traditions into West Asia generated by the Mongol invasion, Muslim painters began to embark on a naturalistic depiction of mountains, trees, rocks and water in a quasi-Chinese manner. This is particularly evident in Ilkhanid painting, for example in the scene of the Mountains of India in the Arabic manuscript of the ...

Article

Christine Clark

(b Hornchurch, Essex, May 19, 1929).

Australian painter, video and film maker and teacher. After World War II he studied part-time at St Martin’s School of Art, London. In 1951 he learnt about Islamic art and architecture by working in Algiers on the restoration of the Marabout tombs. Returning to England, he attended Toynbee Hall, London (1952–3) and Shoreditch Teacher Training College, Surrey (1954–7). In 1962 he emigrated to Australia, where he taught art in a high school in Sydney. In the late 1950s, when he became disillusioned with abstract painting, he began to develop his personal style of Pop art. He became known for the paintings in which continuous lines and small dots of colour were applied with hypodermic needles. In his Pop, figurative works he placed models (frequently his wife, Pat) in patchworked, bizarre and often obscene positions. In Rollover (1984; Pat Larter priv. col.), he resorted to shock and humour to challenge accepted moral boundaries. Apart from these figurative works, often mural-sized, he produced many abstract paintings and video and film works....

Article

John Sweetman and A. R. Gardner

[Hindoo, Indo-Saracenic]

Term used specifically in the 19th century to describe a Western style based on the architecture and decorative arts of the Muslim inhabitants (the Moors) of north-west Africa and (between 8th and 15th centuries) of southern Spain; it is often used imprecisely to include Arab and Indian influences. A similar revivalist style prevalent specifically in Spain around the same time is known as the Mudéjar revival. Although their rule in Spain finally ended in 1492, the Moors remained indispensably part of the European vision of the East. (See also Orientalism.)

In the Renaissance moreschi were bandlike patterns allied to grotesques. The Swiss Johann Heinrich Müntz, who visited Spain in 1748 and drew unspecified Moorish buildings, designed a Moorish garden building (1750; London, RIBA) that may have formed the basis for the Alhambra (destr.), one of a series of exotic buildings designed by William Chambers after 1758 for the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, near London. Further early interest was shown by the painter ...

Article

[Sa‛id, ‛Isam Sabaḥ al-]

(b Baghdad, Sept 7, 1938; d London, Dec 26, 1988).

Iraqi architect, painter and designer. The grandson of the Iraqi prime minister Nuri el-Said (d 1958), he studied architecture in England at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (1958–61), and attended Hammersmith College of Art and Design, London (1962–4). From the early 1960s he incorporated sentences and words in kufic and other scripts into his paintings. He designed the interior of the Central Mosque and the Islamic Cultural Centre in London (1976–7), and he was consultant to PPA Ltd of Canada for the Abdul Aziz University master plan in Jiddah (1977–8) and to TYPSA Ltd of Spain for the Imam Saud Islamic University master plan in Riyadh (1978–9). In Baghdad he designed the Aloussi Mosque (1982–8) and al-Aboud Mosque (1984). In addition to his paintings in oil and watercolour he worked with such materials as paleocrystal (a transparent material made of polyester resin) and enamel on aluminium. His ...