Cairo of the Mamluks: A History of Architecture and its Culture

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9781845115494: Cairo of the Mamluks: A History of Architecture and its Culture

               
The Arab philosopher Ibn Khaldun described Cairo under the Mamluks as ""a city beyond imagination"". The Mamluk sultans originated as a slave-based caste rose to rule in the mid-13th century. Accordingly, they designed their capital to be the heart of the Muslim world. It became the focus of their enormous patronage of art and architecture, the stage for their ceremonial rituals, and a memorial to their achievements.
 
This history of Mamluk architecture spans three centuries and examines the monuments of the Mamluks in their social, political and urban context, during the period of their rule (1250 – 1517). The book displays the multiple facets of Mamluk patronage, and also provides a succinct discussion of the sixty key monuments built in Cairo by the Mamluk sultans.
 
The unique strength of Doris Abouseif’s work lies in its scholarly yet engaging presentation of original material, diligently researched in the waqf (Islamic endowments) archives including architectural plans and personal records. A richly illustrated volume with colour photographs, plans and isometric drawings, it will be an essential reference work for scholars and students of the art and architecture of the Islamic world as well as art historians and historians of late medieval Islamic history. Cairo of the Mamluks received a Commendation from the 2008 BRISMES book awards.

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About the Author:

Doris Behrens-Abouseif is Nasser D. Khalili Professor of Islamic Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She is a specialist in Mamluk and Ottoman arts of Egypt and Syria and in social history.

Review:

''For the interested visitor to Egypt, these are not books that you can slip into your pocket to take on your holiday but ones to read on the return.'' Venetia Porter, The Art Newspaper

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