George (Alain), The Umayyad Mosque of Damascus: Art, Faith and Empire in Early Islam, London, Gingko Library, 2021, 260 p. ISBN 9781909942455
Alain George is Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture ay the University of Oxford and Fellow of Wolfson College. He is a historian of Islamic art and architecture with core interests in calligraphy, the arts of the book and early Islam. He is the author of The Rise of Islamic Calligraphy (2010).
This book is a carefully researched and well-illustrated biography of the Umayyad mosque in Damascus - an iconic monument of world architecture and the oldest mosque still standing in something close to its original state. Using a wide range of sources including little-known and untranslated eighth-century poems, descriptions of the mosque by medieval scholars as well as photographs and paintings made by nineteenth century European travellers, the author critically assesses the material, textual and visual evidence to recreate this extraordinary mosque’s original appearance.