An upsurge of interest in Islamic art and architecture creates the ideal climate for publication of this long-awaited comprehensive picture of the entire range of building activity sponsored by the Timurids during the fifteenth century, including the monumental, color-clad mosques, shrines, and mausoleums. The term "Timurid" here refers not only to the empire established by Timur around 1370, but also to that of his successors and their rivals who shared in an extraordinary cultural flowering stretching from Iran throughout Turan, north of the Amu Darya River.
In the interpretative essays that make up about half the first volume, Lisa Golombek and Donald Wilber discuss this mature culture and highlight the major architectural achievements of the age. Following the essays is an extensive catalogue of 257 Timurid monuments, based on field investigations by the authors and others and on original sources still inaccessible to most scholars. In addition, the authors have developed a new descriptive and critical vocabulary that will be useful not only for this period but for the study of the architecture of Mogul India, Safavid Iran, and, by extension, of the Ottoman Empire. The catalogue contains contributions by Terry Allen, Leonid S. Bretanitskii, Robert Hillenbrand, Renta Holod, Antony Hutt, L. Iu. Man'kovskaia, and Bernard O'Kane. The second volume contains the illustrations. A distinctive feature of this study is its treatment of general architectural questions, such as the uses of geometry, spatial and decorative characteristics, and construction techniques.
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File created: 12/12/2013