Jonathan M. Bloom
Jonathan M. Bloom is Norma Jean Calderwood University Professor of Islamic and Asian Art at Boston College and Hamad Bin Khalifa Endowed Chair in Islamic Art at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Bloom, Jonathan M.
Bloom, Jonathan M.
United States of America
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Description: Paper Before Print: The History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic World
Like the printing press, typewriter, and computer, paper has been a crucial agent for the dissemination of information. This engaging book presents an important new chapter in paper’s history: how its use in Islamic lands during the Middle Ages influenced almost every aspect of medieval life. Focusing on the spread of paper from the early eighth century, when Muslims in West Asia acquired Chinese knowledge of paper and papermaking, to five centuries later, when they transmitted this knowledge to Christians in Spain and Sicily, the book reveals how paper utterly transformed the passing of knowledge and served as a bridge between cultures.

Jonathan Bloom traces the earliest history of paper—how it was invented in China over 2,000 years ago, how it entered the Islamic lands of West Asia and North Africa, and how it spread to northern Europe. He explores the impact of paper on the development of writing, books, mathematics, music, art, architecture, and even cooking. And he discusses why Europe was so quick to adopt paper from the Islamic lands and why the Islamic lands were so slow to accept printing in return. Together the text and illustrations (of papermaking techniques and the many uses to which paper was put) give new luster and importance to a now-humble material.

*This eBook is available exclusively on the A&AePortal*
Print publication date October 2001 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300089554
EISBN 9780300257731
Illustrations 103
Print Status in print
Description: The Art and Architecture of Islam: 1250–1800
Yale University Press/Pelican History of Art

Virtually all the masterpieces of Islamic art—the Alhambra, the Taj Mahal, and the Tahmasp Shahnama—were produced during the period from the Mongol conquests in the early thirteenth century to the advent of European colonial rule in the nineteenth. This important book surveys the architecture and arts of the traditional Islamic lands during this era.

Conceived as a sequel to The Art and Architecture of Islam: 650–1250, by Richard Ettinghausen and Oleg Grabar, the book follows the general format of the first volume, with chronological and regional divisions and architecture treated separately from the other arts. The authors describe over two hundred works of Islamic art of this period and also investigate broader social and economic contexts, considering such topics as function, patronage, and meaning. They discuss, for example, how the universal caliphs of the first six centuries gave way to regional rulers and how, in this new world order, Iranian forms, techniques, and motifs played a dominant role in the artistic life of most of the Muslim world; the one exception was the Maghrib, an area protected from the full brunt of the Mongol invasions, where traditional models continued to inspire artists and patrons. By the sixteenth century, say the authors, the eastern Mediterranean under the Ottomans and the area of northern India under the Mughals had become more powerful, and the Iranian models of early Ottoman and Mughal art gradually gave way to distinct regional and imperial styles. The authors conclude with a provocative essay on the varied legacies of Islamic art in Europe and the Islamic lands in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

*This eBook is available exclusively on the A&AePortal*
Print publication date September 1994 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300058888
EISBN 9780300233988
Illustrations 300 illus.
Print Status in print