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This book examines the architectural tradition which developed with the religious culture of Islam. Essentially heir to the Roman development of space, it had its source in the ubiquitous courtyard house, while the development of the mosque as both place of worship and the centre of the community, its form a response to the requirements of prayer set out in the Koran, was given a range of forms as the conquests of Islam came up against the traditions of Egypt, Persia, India and China. The tradition developed further in tombs, palaces and fortifications, all of which are described and illustrated here.
The architecture of Islam encompasses a high proportion of the world's most beautiful buildings. This book covers the whole range in unprecedented breadth and depth.
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Christopher Tadgell taught architectural history for almost thirty years before devoting himself full-time to writing and research, travelling the world to see and photograph buildings from every tradition and period.
Born in Sydney, he studied art history at the Courtauld Institute in London. In 1974 he was awarded his PhD for a thesis on the Neoclassical architectural theorist, Ange-Jacques Gabriel. He subsequently taught in London and at the Kent Institute of Art and Design in Canterbury, with interludes as F.L. Morgan Professor of Architectural Design at the University of Louisville and as a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He has lectured at academic institutions around the world, including the universities of Princeton, Harvard, Columbia and Cornell, the Graham Foundation in Chicago, and Cambridge University and the Courtauld Institute in the UK. He is a Trustee of the World Monuments Fund, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a member of both the British and American Societies of Architectural Historians.
His The History of Architecture in India (1990, several reprints, Phaidon) is the definitive one-volume account of the architecture of the subcontinent, while many publications on French architecture include the standard account in Baroque and Rococo Architecture and Decoration (ed. Blunt, 1978, Elek). He has contributed many articles on Indian and French architecture to The Grove Dictionary of Art and other major reference books.Review:
'The greatest value of this fine study lies in its enormous and detailed range, encompassing not only the Islamic heartlands, but traditions as diverse as those of the sultanates of North Africa, the earliest Moslem dynasties of India and the legacy of Tamerlane. A prodigious labour of love.' – Colin Thubron
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