tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tuque Souq book alert: "L'art arabe"

The book L'Art arabe d'après les monuments du Kaire depuis le VIIe siècle jusqu'à la fin du XVIIIe is a collection of extremely rare engravings, plates and lithographs that were collected by the 19th century French historian Prisse d'Avennes.

It is well worth a look for anyone interested in one of the most unusual collections of images from the Arab world. It seems Napoleon Bonaparte brought along 60 or so artists with him in his campaigns in Egypt and the Middle East. Those artists rendered hundreds of images over the years to follow, even staying long after Napoleon was through with the region. They were charged with illuminating the treasures of Arabic art from the seventh century onward.

It took the historian d'Avennes two decades to collect the works of these artists and transform them onto plates and other media for preservation in the volumes of his book.

To see many of the images online, visit the digital archive of the New York Public Library for a show. You won't be disappointed.

1 comment:

Ashley said...

I think this may very well be the place where I find the perfect design for my future tattoo...