Two lavishly illustrated volumes on Moorish architecture
Moorish remains in Spain.
Being a brief record of the Arabian conquest of the peninsula with a particular account of the Mohammedan architecture and decoration in Cordova, Seville & Toledo. [with] The Alhambra. Being a brief record of the Arabian conquest of the peninsula with a particular account of the Mohammedan architecture and decoration London John Lane, The Bodley Head 1906-07
First edition of first work, second edition of second. Two volumes, 4to (25 x 20 cm), pp.[xx], , 586, , [1, blank], 85 chromolithographic plates; lvi, 480, [6, advertisements], photographic portrait frontispiece, 80 chromolithographic plates. Both works with extensives black and white plans and illustrations, many full-page, included in the pagination. A very good set bound in the publisher's red cloth, stamped in gilt and blind. Some light spotting in first work.
A remarkable survey of Moorish architecture in Spain in two lavishly illustrated volumes, compiled by the Australian mining engineer Albert Frederick Calvert (1872?- 1946), who devoted almost twenty years to the study and promotion of Spain. On his first visit to the Alhambra he was shocked to find no single reference work for a tourist, and sought to remedy this deficiency. Both prefaces make clear that he was led by the illustrations, selecting photographs, prints, plans, and drawings from numerous sources. The brilliantly coloured chromolithographs are after the Victorian plate books of Owen Jones, which were expensive and inconveniently sized for an Edwardian traveller interested in Moorish architecture. Calvert used Spanish, English, and French printed sources, together with translations from Arabic primary texts, principally al-Maqqari's history of the Muslim dynasties of Spain, to compile the accompanying histories of Cordoba, Granada, Seville, and Toledo, but the greatest strength of his work is as a visual survey of Islamic Spain. The first work contains almost one hundred diagrams of geometrical patterns in Islamic art; Calvert saw in Moorish architecture an artistry to rival anything of classical Greece. Both works are dedicated to King Alfonso XIII of Spain, who was a keen promoter of tourism in his country.