Oriental Art Books
The first illustrated, architectural history of the 'Alid shrines, increasingly endangered by the conflict in Syria The 'Alids (descendants of the Prophet Muhammad) are among the most revered figures in Islam, beloved by virtually all Muslims, regardless of sectarian affiliation. This study argues that despite the common identification of shrines as 'Shi'i' spaces, they have in fact always been unique places of pragmatic intersectarian exchange and shared piety, even - and perhaps especially - during periods of sectarian conflict. Using a rich variety of previously unexplored sources, including textual, archaeological, architectural, and epigraphic evidence, Stephennie Mulder shows how these shrines created a unifying Muslim 'holy land' in medieval Syria, and proposes a fresh conceptual approach to thinking about landscape in Islamic art. In doing so, she argues against a common paradigm of medieval sectarian conflict, complicates the notion of Sunni Revival, and provides new evidence for the negotiated complexity of sectarian interactions in the period.
This book investigates the interaction between word and image in medieval Persian art. Greater Iranian arts from the 10th to the 16th century are technically some of the finest produced anywhere. They are also intellectually engaging, showing the lively interaction between the verbal and the visual arts. Focusing on objects found in the main media at the time, Sheila S. Blair shows how artisans played with form, material and decoration to engage their audiences. She also shows how the reception of these objects has changed and that their present context has implications for our understanding of the past. It is lavishly illustrated in colour. It features 5 case studies - on ceramics, metalwares, painting, architecture and textiles - that showcase the variety of Persian art. It investigates the interaction between the visual and the verbal in a multi-lingual society. It looks at the transformation of everyday objects into works of art. It is written by one of the foremost experts in Persian art.
Named after an archaeological site discovered in 1951 in Zhengzhou, China, the Erligang civilization arose in the Yellow River valley around the middle of the second millennium BCE. Shortly thereafter, its distinctive elite material culture spread to a large part of China's Central Plain, in the south reaching as far as the banks of the Yangzi River. The Erligang culture is best known for the remains of an immense walled city at Zhengzhou, a smaller site at Panlongcheng in Hubei, and a large-scale bronze industry of remarkable artistic and technological sophistication. This richly illustrated book is the first in a western language devoted to the Erligang culture. It brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines, including art history and archaeology, to explore what is known about the culture and its spectacular bronze industry. The opening chapters introduce the history of the discovery of the culture and its most important archaeological sites. Subsequent essays address a variety of important methodological issues related to the study of Erligang, including how to define the culture, the usefulness of cross-cultural comparative study, and the difficulty of reconciling traditional Chinese historiography with archaeological discoveries. The book closes by examining the role the Erligang civilization played in the emergence of the first bronze-using societies in south China and the importance of bronze studies in the training of Chinese art historians. The contributors are Robert Bagley, John Baines, Maggie Bickford, Rod Campbell, Li Yung-ti, Robin McNeal, Kyle Steinke, Wang Haicheng, and Zhang Changping.
- RRP £87.95
A gorgeous presentation devoted to the art of Japanese eroticism, drawn from the Honolulu Museum of Art's rare and distinguished collection. The Japanese paintings and prints called shunga (literally spring pictures) reflected the thriving sexual culture of early modern Japan and depicted with sensitivity and nuance the private lives of various social types, from courtesans and Kabuki actors to ordinary townspeople. Organized around a series of exhibitions at the Honolulu Museum of Art, this sumptuous volume presents art from the museum's vast holdings of ukiyo-e prints, woodblock-printed books, and paintings, particularly those originating from the collections of scholar Richard D. Lane and famed author James A. Michener. These fascinating works, dating from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries, explore Japan's sexual culture (including issues of gender and the country's ever-evolving sex industry) with humour as well as a surprisingly sophisticated literary and art-historical approach. Sure to become a collector's item, this gorgeously designed publication offers stunning colour plates showcasing numerous and unusual examples of exquisite Japanese erotica. Texts by leading scholars of shunga and ukiyo-e complete this treasure album of a book.
- RRP £45.00
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There is a vast collection of Indian natural history drawings in the Library of the Natural History Museum, London. Spanning a period of more than two hundred years, from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, they depict the rich variety of animals, birds and insects to be found in India and the magnificent flora of the different regions. The Art of India presents many of these beautiful images, from fine botanical and zoological illustrations through to depictions of colourful artefacts and trinkets purchased in local markets. The artworks originate from a variety of sources that include individual artists and collectors, as well as organised studies of Indian natural history in the pursuit of science, commerce and politics. They were produced by European and Indian artists who worked to advance the understanding of Indian natural history by recording, describing, classifying and naming the flora and fauna of the country.
- RRP £12.99
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Hokusai created sublime works during the last thirty years of his life, right up to his death at the age of ninety. Publications have hitherto presented his long career as a chronological sequence. This book takes a fresh approach based on innovative scholarship: thematic groupings of works are related to the major spiritual and artistic quests of Hokusai's life. Hokusai's personal beliefs are studied here through major brush paintings, drawings, woodblock prints and illustrated books. The book gives due attention to the contribution of Hokusai's daughter Eijo (Oi), an accomplished artist in her own right. Hokusai continually explored the mutability and minutiae of natural phenomena in his art. His late subjects and styles were based on a mastery of eclectic Japanese, Chinese and European techniques and an encyclopaedic knowledge of nature, myth, and history. Mount Fuji was the most significant model for Hokusai in his quest for immortality. This collection of Hokusai's works draws on the finest to be found in Japan and around the world, making this the most important publication for years on Hokusai, and a uniquely valuable overview of the artist's late career.
- RRP £35.00
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Over the centuries, the elegance of Asian art has been a source of fascination and inspiration for artists and art lovers worldwide. This beautifully illustrated book, returning after some time out of print explores the diversity of art and artefacts from around Asia, detailing the subjects, the materials used in their making, and the lives of the artists and artisans who created them.
- RRP £14.99
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This book, the latest work from one of Thailand's leading art historians, Piriya Krairiksh represents the culmination of 30 years research by the author and is sure to be a definitive account of Thai Art History and a major art reference book. It covers 700 years of Thai art history, and looks at both Buddhist and Hindi art from the 5th to 13th centuries. This extensive study incorporates paintings, pottery and architecture, and looks at the mythology surrounding each. The author has been granted access to many private collections, including that of HM The King of Thailand's own collection, as well other private collectors and also many museums. Never before has such a vast collection of items, many never before catalogued in book form, been collected in one place and placed within a contextual overview of the development of Thai Art. Lavishly illustrated with 600 colour illustrations, this work will be a must for all collectors, academics and students of Thai Art, as well as general readers who have an interest in Southeast Asian art. Full Glossary and index are included.
- RRP £35.00
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Shafik Gabr started his collection of Orientalist art in 1993 by acquiring a painting by Ludwig Deutsch entitled Egyptian Priest Entering a Temple. His collection is today amongst the very few in the world to count such a large number of works by the famed Austrian artist as well as some of the finest examples of the greatest masters of Orientalism such as Jean-Leon Gerome, Frederick Arthur Bridgman, Gustav Bauernfeind and many others. Important for both scholars and art lovers, the Shafik Gabr Collection impresses us with its richness and variety. It includes masterpieces by some of the major nineteenth and twentieth century Orientalists found in private hands today and demonstrates the owner's appreciation of differences as well as similarities in European visions of the versatile and diverse Orient. The selection of paintings in this collection illustrates the owner's evolving taste, his relationship with the world of Orientalism and his interest in its European expression. This Orientalist collection is a harmonious "kaleidoscope" of genres, presenting the Orient through a variety of forms, styles and techniques, and revealing to the European viewer the mysterious East with its bright colours, its exotic and leisurely lifestyle. Over the years, it has become one of the most complete and magnificent tributes dedicated to the world of Orientalism and as such some of the most renowned experts in this field have contributed to this book in order to mark its importance in the art world. Lavishly illustrated, 'Masterpieces of Orientalist Art: The Shafik Gabr' Collection also includes essays by distinguished Orientalist scholars.
- RRP £125.00
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Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection is a selection of some of the finest examples of Chinese natural history drawings in the Natural History Museum's collections, many of which have never been published before. The book brings together a unique collection of botanical, zoological and entomological drawings depicting the natural history of China. Commissioned and collected during the early nineteenth century by John Reeves and his son, and now housed in the Natural History Museum, London, these outstanding images are important not only for their striking beauty but also for their scientific significance. Sent to China in 1812, John Reeves was a tea inspector for the East India Company and a keen amateur naturalist who commissioned hundreds of scientific drawings from local artists, which were then sent to Britain. Despite often being highly stylised, the images helped to further European knowledge of Chinese natural history during a time when access to the country was severely restricted. Through their dedicated and enthusiastic work, Reeves and his son helped pave the way for some of the great explorers and collectors that followed.
- RRP £12.99
This book is a comprehensive study of the Japanese Okimono's history during the Meiji Era (1868-1912) based on the Dr. A.M. Kanter's Collection with over 150 illustrations of Japanese ivory carvings, bronzes and shibayama objects. This guide covers all aspects on the subject; the author has been granted permission from the Shoto Museum of Art in Tokyo, to reproduce their entire archive listing of Japanese artists active during this period. All the various signature marks are reproduced alongside the English translation, an essential reference to facilitate collectors, dealers and scholars. Also, illustrations are provided showing how to identify all the Japanese forms of art signatures used which adds greatly to its interest for collectors. Guidance has been given to help collectors identify the various materials used for carving: ivory, walrus, hippo and bone, and how to care for these fine objects. The Japanese mythological beliefs and folk tales are explained as well as the various metalwork and shibayama techniques.
- RRP £45.00
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In this first systematic introduction to contemporary Chinese art, Wu Hung provides an accessible, focused and much-needed narrative of the development of Chinese art across all media from the 1970s to the 2000s. From its underground genesis during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), contemporary Chinese art has become a dynamic and hugely influential force in a globalized art world where the distinctions between Eastern and Western culture are rapidly collapsing. The book is a richly illustrated and easy-to-navigate chronological survey that considers contemporary Chinese art both in the context of Chinas specific historical experiences and in a global arena. Wu Hung explores the emergence of avant-garde or contemporary art as opposed to officially sanctioned art in the public sphere after the Cultural Revolution; the mobilization by young artists and critics of a nationwide avant-garde movement in the mid-1980s; the re-emphasis on individual creativity in the late 1980s, the heightened spirit of experimentation of the 1990s; and the more recent identification of Chinese artists, such as Ai Weiwei, as global citizens who create works for an international audience.
- RRP £60.00
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Here is a concise and authoritative survey of the rich and complex arts of Japan, from the prehistoric period right up to the present, now with a new chapter on the latest developments and trends in Japanese art, including manga and anime, and discussion of world-famous artists, architects and photographers such as Nakaya Fujiko, Yayoi Kusama, Yoko Ono, Ando Tadao and Daido Moriyama. Throughout, the author selects the finest examples to illustrate the story and puts the art into its historical, political and cultural context, providing a greater understanding for both students and those new to the subject, and offering an essential guide to the distinctive arts of Japan.
- RRP £9.95
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This landmark study is the first comprehensive exploration of the Proportioned Script, an Arabic writing system attributed to the Abbasid wazir (minister) Ibn Muqla and the master scribe Ibn al-Bawwab that has dominated the art of Arabic and Islamic penmanship from the 10th century to the present day. Volume One, Sources and Principles of the Geometry of Letters, traces the origin of the Proportioned Script to the cross-cultural encounter between Greek learning and the scientific, artistic and philosophical pursuits of classical Islam. On the basis of instructions in surviving sources it identifies a grid module that serves as a common foundation for the design of all the Arabic letter shapes. In Volume Two, From Geometric Pattern to Living Form, the authors construct each of the letter shapes on the grid module and compare their findings to samples traced by two classical master scribes. They conclude by examining the religious, aesthetic and cosmological significance of the Proportioned Script in the wider context of the Islamic cultural heritage. Drs Moustafa and Sperl have succeeded in unearthing the very foundations of Arabic penmanship, with implications for the arts of Islam as a whole.
- RRP £95.00
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Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) is one of the best known of all Japanese woodblock print designers. He is particularly renowned for his landscape prints, which are among the most frequently reproduced of all Japanese works of art. Hiroshige's landscape prints were hugely successful both in Japan and in the West. Their unusual compositions, humorous depictions of people involved in everyday activities and masterly expression of weather, light and seasons, proved enormously influential on many leading European artists. Aimed at a general audience, this book illustrates and discusses 53 Hiroshige landscape prints in the Ashmolean Museum's collection and explores their historical background. It gives a concise introduction to Hiroshige's life and career within the context of Japan's booming nineteenth-century woodblock print industry and explores the development of the landscape print as a new genre in this period. It also discusses and illustrates the process and techniques of traditional Japanese woodblock print-making.
- RRP £15.00
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Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) was one of the last great artists in the ukiyo-e tradition. Literally meaning "pictures of the floating world," ukiyo-e was a particular genre of art that flourished between the 17th and 19th centuries and came to characterize the Western world's visual idea of Japan. In many ways images of hedonism, ukzyo-e scenes often represented the bright lights and attractions of Edo (modern-day Tokyo): beautiful women, actors and wrestlers, city life, and spectacular landscapes. Though he captured a variety of subjects, Hiroshige was most famous for landscapes, with a final masterpiece series known as "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo" (1856-1858), which depicted various scenes of the city through the seasons, from bustling shopping streets to splendid cherry orchards. This reprint is made from one of the finest complete original sets of woodblock prints belonging to the Ota Memorial Museum of Art in Tokyo. It pairs each of the 120 illustrations with a description, allowing readers to immerse themselves in these beautiful, Vibrant vistas that became paradigms of Japomisme and inspired Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Art Nouveau artists alike, from Vincent van Gogh to James McNeill Whistler.
- RRP £15.00
An authoritative and wide-ranging visual essay on the aesthetics of Japan, now in a beautiful paperback edition. Japan Style, written by one of the world's most respected scholars of Japanese art and culture, defines what 'Japan style' is. It explores specific achievements in Japanese art and architecture, but also offers an in-depth analysis of the whole of Japanese culture, its vision of the world and of humankind. 'Japan style' is something recognizable to everyone: a beautifully arranged flower, an elegant piece of calligraphy or a simple rock garden, but it is also something that is very difficult to define. The book is divided into three main sections. In the first one ('Irregular Beauty'), the author delineates the different aspects of Japanese culture and draws interesting connections between art, architecture, religion, philosophy and mythology. For example, he explains the aesthetics of the tea ceremony and its relationship to Zen philosophy as well as other subjects such as the function of the void in mythology, Buddhism and the arts. The second part of the book ('A Feeling of Nature') follows a chronological path from ancient times to the present explaining more specifically how to interpret the different forms of Japanese art (literature, painting, sculpture, etc.). The third part of the book ('Art Masters') contains short monographs on Japanese masters in the history of Japanese art and culture: Zeami Moto, the creator of No theatre; Hokusai, the master of woodblock printing; Yasunai Kawabata and Mishima Yukio, the writers; and the graphic designer, Tanaka Ikko. Calza's groundbreaking and insightful text is accompanied by 150 colour images of a great variety of examples from Japanese art and culture.
- RRP £24.95
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In this magnificent, lavishly illustrated book, renowned art historian B. N. Goswamy opens readers' eyes to the wonders of Indian painting, and shows them new ways of seeing art. An illuminating introductory essay, 'A Layered World', explains the themes and emotions that inspired famous painters, the values and influences that shaped their work, and the unique ways in which they depicted Time and Space. It describes, too, the different regional styles, the relationship between patrons and painters, the tools and techniques the painters used and the milieu in which they created their works. The second part of this book, 'Close Encounters with 101 Works', presents paintings carefully selected by Professor Goswamy, spanning nearly a thousand years and ranging from Jain manuscripts and Rajasthani, Mughal, Pahari and Deccani miniatures, to Company School paintings. His description and analysis of these works unlock the treasures that lie within them and show us how to 'read' each painting as he pours out its finest features, explains its visual vocabulary and symbolism, and recounts the story, legend or event that inspired it. Combining deep scholarship with great storytelling, this is a book of enduring value that will both educate and delight the reader.
- RRP £29.95
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This ground breaking study examines decorative Chinese works of art and visual culture, known as chinoiserie, in the context of church and state politics, with a particular focus on the Catholic missions' impact on Western attitudes toward China and the Chinese. Art-historical examinations of chinoiserie have largely ignored the role of the Church and its conversion efforts in Asia. Johns, however, demonstrates that the emperor's 1722 prohibition against Catholic evangelization, which occurred after almost a century and a half of tolerance, prompted a remarkable change in European visualizations of China in Roman Catholic countries. China and the Church considers the progress of Christianity in China during the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, examines authentic works of Chinese art available to the European artists who produced chinoiserie, and explains how the East Asian male body in Western art changed from "normative" depictions to whimsical, feminized grotesques after the collapse of the missionary efforts during the 1720s.
- RRP £40.00
A comprehensive and beautifully illustrated study of traditional Japanese erotic art. Poem of the Pillow and Other Stories examines the artistic developments of Japanese erotic art from the ukiyo-e period, dating from the mid-seventeenth century to the end of the nineteenth century. Known by the delicate euphemism of Shunga or 'spring images', these pictures were hugely popular and admired, and are today highly collectable works of art. This book illustrates major Shunga works from important ukiyo-e masters such as Utamaro, Hokusai, Harunobu, Kunisada, Kuniyoshi and many others. World-renowned scholar Gian Carlo Calza defines these fascinating erotic works in their social, historical and artistic context, providing a broad overview of a subject that is extremely nuanced and intriguing. Beautifully illustrated with over 300 images, including woodblock prints, scrolls and paintings, this book is a perfect introduction to ukiyo-e erotic art.
- RRP £24.95
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This is a luxuriously illustrated catalogue of more than forty extraordinary Persian miniature paintings, illuminated manuscripts and elaborately decorated book bindings in The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, dating from the period before the Mongol invasions (11th-12th centuries CE) to the early 20th century. It includes rare examples from the pre-Mongol invasion period; fine illuminations of Qur'an manuscripts; Mu'nis al-Ahrar, an important early fourteenth-century anthology by Muhammad ibn Badr al-Din al-Jajarmi; material from dispersed manuscripts of Firdawsi's Shah-nameh; two previously unpublished copies of Qazwini's 'Aja'ib al-Makhluqat; three copies of Nizami's Khamsah; Sa'di's Golestan; and Jami's Yusuf and Zulaykha and Subhat al-Abrar - as well as paintings from dispersed Safavid and post-Safavid albums, and seventeenth-century bookbindings and oil paintings from the Zand and Qajar periods.
- RRP £29.95
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This richly illustrated book showcases a previously unseen and virtually unknown historical collection of Chinese ceramics, formed in the early twentieth century by George Eumorfopoulos, a pivotal figure in the appreciate of Asian art. Taken together, these artifacts, now located at the Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece, build a rare time capsule of Western tastes and preoccupations with the East in the decades prior to World War II. The years between the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911 and the establishment of the People s Republic of China in 1949 marked an opening up of China to the rest of the world and coincided with the first archaeological excavations of the country s early cultures. Working at the time in London, a center of imperialist power and global finance, Eumorfopoulos and his colleagues were instrumental in acquiring, assessing, interpreting, and manipulating the unearthed objects. The years of isolation that followed this period allowed aspects of his approach to become canonical, influencing later scholarly research on Chinese material culture.This groundbreaking exploration of approximately one hundred artifacts is not only an important account of Eumorfopoulos s work, but also a story about China and the West and the role antique materials played in their cultural interplay. "
- RRP £25.00
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Comprising 130 17th-century paintings, the Tsao Family Collection is singularly comprehensive, including works by nearly all of the most important Chinese painters of the period. This book features sixteen works by Dong Qichang, the most protean Chinese painter of the last 500 years, paintings by masters such as Gong Xian, Hongren, Zhu Da, Daoji, Wang Hui, and Wang Yuanqi, as well as extremely rare works by lesser-known artists, scholars, officials, and Buddhist monks. Divided into sections that encompass both the late Ming Dynasty and the early Qing Dynasty, this volume also includes fascinating essays on a number of themes, such as the function of landscape in Chinese culture; the political uses of painting in 17th-century China; the relationship of Chinese painting to poetry; the flourishing of Buddhist and Daoist studies among late Ming and early Qing literati; and orthodoxy and painting of the era.Rounding out the volume are new and authoritative interpretations of the Tsao Collection written by a team of leading scholars and remarkable new translations by Jonathan Chaves, Ronald Egan, and others of the Chinese poems and prose texts inscribed on the paintings and calligraphic works in the exhibition.
- RRP £65.00
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Celebrating the 400th anniversary of traditional Japanese ceramic culture as interpreted by today's leading designers The art of Japanese porcelain manufacturing began in Arita in 1616. Now, on its 400th anniversary, Arita / Table of Contents charts the unique collaboration between 16 contemporary designers and 10 traditional Japanese potteries as they work to produce 16 highly original, innovative and contemporary ceramic collections rooted in the daily lives of the 21st century. More than 500 illustrations provide a fascinating introduction to the craft and region, while the contemporary collections reveal the unique creative potential of linking ancient and modern masters.
- RRP £49.95
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