Stealing from the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe (Hurst & Company, 2020) by Diana Darke is a revealing history of Islamic architectural influence on Europe’s cathedrals, palaces, and monuments.
Against a backdrop of Islamophobia, Europeans are increasingly airbrushing from history their cultural debt to the Muslim world. But this legacy lives on in some of Europe’s most recognisable buildings, from Notre-Dame Cathedral to the Houses of Parliament.
This beautifully illustrated book reveals the Arab and Islamic roots of Europe’s architectural heritage. Diana Darke traces ideas and styles from vibrant Middle Eastern centres like Damascus, Baghdad and Cairo, via Muslim Spain, Venice and Sicily into Europe. She describes how medieval crusaders, pilgrims and merchants encountered Arab Muslim culture on their way to the Holy Land; and explores more recent artistic interaction between Ottoman and Western cultures, including Sir Christopher Wren’s inspirations in the ‘Saracen’ style of Gothic architecture.
Recovering this long yet overlooked history of architectural ‘borrowing’, Stealing from the Saracens is a rich tale of cultural exchange, shedding new light on Europe’s greatest landmarks.
– Diana Darke, Stealing from the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe (Hurst & Company, 2020), book description
The book has English text and it has been illustrated with colour and black-and-white photographs.
The copy in our stock is in very good condition. There are no visible faults whatsoever except for some exposure to light and fading on the dust jacket.