Islamic Gardens and Landscapes (Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture) (Paperback)

Islamic Gardens and Landscapes (Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture) By D. Fairchild Ruggles Cover Image

Islamic Gardens and Landscapes (Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture) (Paperback)

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Western admirers have long seen the Islamic garden as an earthly reflection of the paradise said to await the faithful. However, such simplification, Ruggles contends, denies the sophistication and diversity of the art form. Islamic Gardens and Landscapes immerses the reader in the world of the architects of the great gardens of the Islamic world, from medieval Morocco to contemporary India.

Just as Islamic culture is historically dense, sophisticated, and complex, so too is the history of its built landscapes. Islamic gardens began from the practical need to organize the surrounding space of human civilization, tame nature, enhance the earth's yield, and create a legible map on which to distribute natural resources. Ruggles follows the evolution of these early farming efforts to their aristocratic apex in famous formal gardens of the Alhambra in Spain and the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Whether in a humble city home or a royal courtyard, the garden has several defining characteristics, which Ruggles discusses. Most notable is an enclosed space divided into four equal parts surrounding a central design element. The traditional Islamic garden is inwardly focused, usually surrounded by buildings or in the form of a courtyard. Water provides a counterpoint to the portioned green sections.

Ranging across poetry, court documents, agronomy manuals, and early garden representations, and richly illustrated with pictures and site plans, Islamic Gardens and Landscapes is a book of impressive scope sure to interest scholars and enthusiasts alike.
D. Fairchild Ruggles is Professor and the Debra L. Mitchell Chair in Landscape History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the author of Gardens, Landscape, and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain.
Product Details ISBN: 9780812225143
ISBN-10: 0812225147
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Publication Date: March 1st, 2022
Pages: 312
Language: English
Series: Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture