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Comment: Publisher: Thames and Hudson
Date of Publication: 1989
Binding: paperback
Condition: Good
Description: Clean internally and lightly used. The covers has label stuck to front with a little writing and marking in pen. Some light shelfwear and corner curl. Illustrated with line drawings and diagrams.
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Islamic Patterns: An Analytical and Cosmological Approach Paperback – 3 May 1983

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; 01 edition (3 May 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500270716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500270714
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 21.6 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 219,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


'Will make intricate pattern-making much simpler to understand and create...highly recommended'
-- Tile & Stone Journal

About the Author

Keith Critchlow is Director of Research and Director of Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts at the Prince of Wales Institute of Architecture. An internationally known lecturer on Islamic art, he is the author of "Pythagorean Geometry." He lives in England. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unless you love maths and have a real, real passion for understanding the concepts and mathmatical elements of design then get this book. If like me you want to learne how to create designs in a simple and easy way then don't get this book. This is a book more about theory than application.
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I wish I had discovered this book earlier!
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I suppose understanding the geometry of the cosmos and the relationship with the Creator is not a simple topic and Professor Critchlow does a great job in making this concept easy to understand.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x992fc60c) out of 5 stars 16 reviews
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x993e11a4) out of 5 stars More than just a collection of cute patterns 11 Feb. 2001
By Martyn Richard Jones - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a must for artists, mathematicians, philosophers and anyone else interested in the foundations and rationale of Islamic art.
This book provides a comprehensive insight into Islamic Patterns in a clear and concise way. I have used this book on a number of occasions when I have needed inspiration for drawings, paintings and even for works of management strategy - curiously enough. It has a wonderful way of both focusing and relaxing the mind that seems to encourage channeled creativity.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x993e11f8) out of 5 stars the complex designs of Islamic art and architecture deciphered 30 Jun. 2008
By Henry Berry - Published on
Format: Paperback
El-Said writes about the designs seen in a lot of Islamic art and architecture with a scientific precision. What he does is isolate the fundamental, simplest forms--the building blocks--of the Islamic art, and explain and demonstrate how artists and artisans built on these (as one might build on the basic pieces of an erector set) and manipulate these by turning them this way and that to create the incredibly complex geometric patterns. Sometimes as filigree, sometimes as a part of a structure such as a dome or panel, and sometimes a structural element, such patterns are a prime feature by which Islamic art is recognized. El-Said died in 1988 at the age of 50, before he could put the final touches on his outstanding study of the Islamic geometric designs. The two editors are experts in Islamic art and architecture who have compiled and organized El-Said's work for this book. El-Said's previous book Geometric Concepts on Islamic Art published in 1976 was a source of guidance for this book.

The geometric designs are an ancient art who beginnings El-Said, among others, has traced to Egyptian Pharaonic dynasties and Mesopotamian city-states of the third millennium B.C. The precision comes not from astronomical phenomena or scientific instruments, but from "elaborate rules of mensuration" involving signifying numbers, multiplication, division, geometrical forms, and other elements. Operations within these and combinations of them could grow very complex; but they could always be broken down into elementary factors and basic functions. The ancient Islamic architects and artists were both inspired and bound by the systems of mensuration. The palaces, temples, monuments, and other buildings they made were paragons for following generations. Thus while there is an almost infinite variation in the designs because the rules of the classical mensuration were so elaborate, the reliance on the elementary geometric forms gives a superficial resemblance to all the designs. The uniqueness of an Islamic design is in its details; not in any experimental, sensational, or idiosyncratic composition or effects as in Western modernist art for example.

Although the principles of the geometric design have remained basically the same for centuries, there have been only a handful of works explaining and discussing these principles in an analytic and demonstrative way such as El-Said does. El-Said's book is outstanding for its lucidity and pithiness. The large portion of many pages are illustrations of the principles of geometric design by diagrams of how designs are formed from the fundamental forms and mathematical functions. These diagrams look something like the diagrams of chemical compounds seen in chemistry textbooks or pictures of snowflakes. This combination of lucid text and instructive visual matter make this an outstanding book for learning about the geometric design. What one learns applies to Islamic architecture and art throughout history and in different geographical areas.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x990e7ca8) out of 5 stars Islamic Patterns 27 Mar. 2012
By Liviu Ivanov - Published on
Format: Paperback
For someone who likes geometric artwork this is one amazing and extraordinary revelation into a beautiful world. I absolutely loved this book and studied it with much attention, creating some things inspired by it. For me the book is about circles, how they combine, how they intersect and the patterns that emerge if one is willing to look for the patterns. There are interesting visual notes on how to divide a circle. To divide a circle in 3 parts is simple, to divide in 5, 7 or 9 parts becomes more complex and reveals worlds that are interesting. Mix a circle divided in 7 parts with one divided in 9 parts and beautiful patterns emerge. The book does have a religious aspect to it, it is totally secondary to me and that had no meaning to me. The edition that I have was published in 1976 - I still treasure this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x993e1480) out of 5 stars Master of conceptual thought 17 April 2013
By Rafael - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The text is so deep that I needed to read each paragraph several times to get some new concepts. Indeed a powerful initiation into the beautiful patterns of cosmic science.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x993e1420) out of 5 stars A wonderful tool 16 May 2007
By M. L. Renzo - Published on
Format: Paperback
this book is really a wonderful tool for us to start recongnizing and understanding the fabric of life, and the energy fields that are encoded in Islamic art.

In fact the patterns are present also in other cultures so this book is about the archetypes of creation, the sacred geometries that remind us that the whole inhabits the parts - the undeniable spark that connects all life together. Neatly illustrates the flower of life matrix and its manifestations

For the maths lovers, also a lot on magic squares.

Very well explained in text and wonderfully illustrated. I have mine in an old edition and keep buying as a gift for friends - it's a jewel, Keith Critchlow is a name I respect.
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