Author: Terry Allen
Publisher: Reichert Verlag
The Madrasah al-Shu'aybiyah in Aleppo, erected in 545/1150 by Nur al-Din Mahmud, is an Islamic building in which antique forms are reused. Starting from this building the author draws wider and wider circles of comparison around it, discussing the development of Islamic architecture and demonstrating that there was a classical revival in this architecture. Herzfeld regarded the Shu'aybiyah and other classicizing buildings as represntatives of an uninterrupted antique tradition and denied a "renaissance of the antique". Allen clearly shows the differences between Islamic classicism and the classicism that occured in the many revivals of classical architecture in the West. In Italy, for example, antique prototyps were copied, reused and reinterpreted in their original sense, with their iconography maintained intact. Such kind of renaissance could not take place in the Islamic world, since it did not regard Greaco-Roman culture as its heritage. The classical revival in Islamic architecture that developed in Syria and neighboring lands during the 5th and 6th centuries A.H./11th and 12th centuries A.D. has double value for anyone interested in European architecture. This book will find its readers not only among art historians and those who are interested in architecture but also among anyone who is interested in the history of art and culture in general.