Ever since the Arab conquest of Egypt in the seventh century, Cairo has been one of the great centers of Islam. The noted French historian Prisse d'Avennes published from 1869 to 1877 his monumental L'art arabe, a sumptuous set of plates illustrating a wide range of art treasures located in and around Cairo. In the city's mosques and palaces, Prisse d'Avennes discovered rare architectural ornaments (tiles, wood carving, paintings on walls and ceilings, woven hangings), carpets, paper appliqués, and illuminated books, and his were the first publications of most of this hitherto neglected and unknown material. Arabic Art in Color contains 50 full-color plates from these rare volumes. There are 141 designs and motifs that constitute a grammar of Islamic decorative art in its authentic colors — naturalistic florals; geometrical patterns based on hexagons, octagons, and dodecagons; Koran illuminations of incredible intricacy; animal vignettes; spots and borders of many kinds. The illustrations range from the twelfth century to the eighteenth. Artists, art historians, collectors, designers of textiles, wallpaper and packaging, craftspeople working in stained glass, rugs, mosaics, etc. and others will find this book a valuable source of pictorial information and inspiration on Islamic art and design.