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Tradition, Innovation and Eclecticism
This collection of essays provides a timely reassessment of nineteenth-century Islamic art and architecture. The essays demonstrate that the arts of that era were vibrant and diverse, making ingenious use of native traditions and materials or adopting imported conventions and new technologies. However, traditionalists, revivalists and modernists all referred in one way or another to an Islamic heritage, whether to reinvent, revive or reject it. Beginning with an historical introduction and an assessment of changing attitudes towards the visual arts the following essays provide case studies of architecture and art in Ottoman Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, sub-Saharan Africa, Iran, Central Asia, India and the Caribbean. They examine such issues as patronage, sources of artistic inspiration and responses to European art. The essays have a relevance and importance for our understanding of the societies and attitudes of that time, and have a direct bearing on the more general debate concerning cultural identity and the integration of modern ideas in the Muslim world. The book is richly illustrated with very many illustrations in black-and-white and in full colour.
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