Rivers of Paradise - Blair, Sheila; Bloom, Jonathan - Yale University Press
Art and Architecture

Series Information
The Biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art

Published in association with Virginia Commonwealth University Museum of Fine Arts 

Rivers of Paradise

Water in Islamic Art and Culture

  • Edited by Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom
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Out of Print.

Chosen for the Holiday Art Guide, Eric Gibson, Wall Street Journal

For millennia the collection, distribution, and symbolism of water have played pivotal roles in the lands where Islam has flourished. This book is the first to address this important subject.


A diverse spectrum of scholars covers a wide range of topics: from the revelation of Islam in the 7th century to today’s conservation and development issues, from watering oases in the Moroccan desert to the flooded plains of Bengal. Copiously illustrated with beautiful color photographs and newly drawn plans and maps, this book  will provoke readers to appreciate and acknowledge the essential, if often invisible and transitory, roles that water played in the arts of the Islamic lands and beyond.

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom have shared the Norma Jean Calderwood University Professorship in Islamic and Asian Art at Boston College since 2000 and the Hamad bin Khalifa Endowed Chair of Islamic Art at Virginia Commonwealth University since 2006. Their publications include Islam: A Thousand Years of Faith and Power, The Art and Architecture of Islam, and The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture.