The first comprehensive study of the history, function and significance of ornament in Islamic art. Heavily illustrated with magnificent examples of Islamic ornament, it surveys how motifs developed and became integrated into patterns. This volume covers the period 700-1600 AD and an area stretching from Syria and Asia Minor in the west, to Afghanistan and India in the east.
The motifs and their transformations: vegetal motifs - plants and their arabesques; figural motifs - birds and animals; geometric motifs - squares and lozenges, circles, polygons and star patterns; epigraphy. The formation of order. The meaning of ornament. Principles and concepts - concluding remarks.