Water, Islam and Art: Drop by Drop, Life Falls from the Sky

Miniatures and artifacts illustrate the abiding mythic resonances of water in the Islamic imagination

There exists an age-old and intimate bond between water and the Islamic world. Water was tamed with the qanat and became a ritual with the hammam; it was venerated as a heavenly gift and feared as a divine punishment. This relationship can be explained only in part by atmospheric conditions: an ancient legacy of previous cultures and civilizations, a deep sense of religion and many complex social and cultural themes must also be invoked.

This volume tells the story of water in the Islamic imagination through artifacts, books and miniatures, but also through canalization systems in Syria, gardens in Spain and baths in Istanbul. In addition, statements in the Qur’an and subsequent literature illustrate the historic development of the many roles and meanings of water and the incarnation of its significance in Islamic art and craftsmanship.

Written by Giovanni Curatola 
192 pages
Published by Silvana Editoriale, 2020
Hardcover
9.5 x 10.8 inches