In 1827, a brilliant young French engineer and draftsman arrived in Alexandria at the start of a long and fruitful love affair with Egypt and its art, both ancient and contemporary. Emile Prisse d'Avennes (1807-79) spent a total of nineteen years in Egypt, traveling throughout the country to collect the stunning images that he later published in Paris in two collections, Atlas de l'histoire de l'art egyptien and L' Art arabe. It is the illustrations from the latter that make up this volume. Prisse's masterly renderings of Cairo's mosques and their decorations more than retain their impact today: they still have the power to amaze and delight, while at the same time carrying valuable historical and artistic information for specialists studying Islamic art and architecture. As Professor George Scanlon says in his Introduction to the volume: "For those passionate about the Islamic legacy of Egypt-may they admire and stand grateful."
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