Shape of the Holy by Oleg Grabar
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Shape of the Holy
By Oleg Grabar

The Shape of the Holy

Early Islamic Jerusalem

By (author) See other recent books by Oleg Grabar
Format: Hardback

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Shape of the Holy by Oleg Grabar

Book Awards

  • Winner of Association of American Publishers/Professional and Scholarly Publishing Awards: Arts 1996.
  • Runner-up for Choice Magazine Outstanding Reference/Academic Book Award 1997.

Book Description

From the time of Herod through the Crusades, Jerusalem had officially changed its religion several times, with Jews, Christians, and Muslims inscribing the story of their faiths on the urban landscape. In this handsomely illustrated book, noted Islamist Oleg Grabar offers a rare account of the great role played by early Islam in defining the 'look' of Jerusalem that remained largely intact until the twentieth century. From about 640 to 1100, Muslims transformed Christian Jerusalem, mainly the area now known as the Haram al-Sharif, both physically and ideologically to embody their new faith. Grabar examines this process, showing how it led to great architectural achievements, including The Dome of the Rock, still perhaps the most vivid image to impress any visitor to Jerusalem. Offering a major photographic record of The Dome's mosaics in color together with its interiors, this book shows in rich detail how Islam articulated itself architecturally, touching on historical and legendary memories and on themes of both religious harmony and Islamic triumph. Dominating Jerusalem's landscape today, The Dome of the Rock was commissioned by Abd Al-Malik in 691, and still houses the Rock from which the Prophet Mohammed is believed to have ascended into heaven. Grabar argues that its construction altered the visual equilibrium of Jerusalem by equating its eastern hill, Mt. Moriah, a key landmark in Islam, with its western ones, Golgotha and Mt. Zion, highlighted by Christian monuments. A close look at The Dome's construction and decoration leads to a new explanation of the building as a Late Antique monument of art that could be adapted to several different and at times simultaneous interpretations. Grabar also offers a unique portrait of Jerusalem in the eleventh century under the Fatimid dynasty in Cairo, when the city was at its peak as a peaceful, cosmopolitan center. Through an innovative computer modeling program, Grabar presents fascinating reconstructions of the Haram al-Sharif, taking us down streets and past buildings, of which only remnants exist today.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691036533
ISBN-10: 0691036535
Format: Hardback
(280mm x 203mm x 25mm)
Pages: 248
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 11-Nov-1996
Country of Publication: United States

Books By Author Oleg Grabar

Masterpieces of Islamic Art by Oleg Grabar Masterpieces of Islamic Art, Hardback (July 2009)

This opulent volume of works from illustrated and illuminated manuscripts culled from important public and private collections offers a thorough introduction to the wonders of Islamic art.

Dome of the Rock by Oleg Grabar Dome of the Rock, Hardback (October 2006)

Presents the story of the Dome of the Rock, the beautiful Muslim shrine in the walled Old City of Jerusalem, from the first fateful decades of its creation to its engulfment in the clashes of the Crusades and the Christianization of Jerusalem, to its modern acquisition of different and potent meanings for Muslim, Christian and Jewish cultures.

Islamic Art and Architecture, 650-1250 by Oleg Grabar Islamic Art and Architecture, 650-1250, Paperback (July 2003)

This illustrated book provides an overview of Islamic art and architecture during a time that witnessed the formation of a new artistic culture and its first, medieval, flowering in the vast area from the Atlantic to India.

Interpreting Late Antiquity by Oleg Grabar Interpreting Late Antiquity, Hardback (October 2001)

In these eleven in-depth essays, drawn from the award-winning reference work "Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World," an international cast of experts provides essential information and fresh perspectives on this period's culture and history.

» View all books by Oleg Grabar


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Recent books by Oleg Grabar close
Masterpieces of Islamic Art by Oleg Grabar
Dome of the Rock by Oleg Grabar
Islamic Art and Architecture, 650-1250 by Oleg Grabar
Interpreting Late Antiquity by Oleg Grabar
Formation of Islamic Art by Oleg Grabar
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