Edited by Anna Contadini
Arab painting, preserved mainly in manuscript illustrations of the 12th to 14th centuries, is here treated as an artistic corpus fully deserving of appreciation in its own terms, and not as a mere precursor to Persian painting. The book assembles papers by a distinguished list of scholars that illuminate the variety of material that survives in scientific as well as literary manuscripts. Because of the contexts in which the paintings appear, a major theoretical concern is, precisely, the relationship of painting to text. It rejects earlier scholarly habits of analysing paintings in isolation, and proposes the integration of text and image as a more satisfactory framework within which to elucidate the characteristics and functions of this impressive body of work.