Mirror of the Orient by Roland Michaud
Central Asia is a vibrant mixture of civilizations and tongues; united by Islam, diversified by differing histories, cultures and languages. Persia, Turkey, Afghanistan and their neighbours are famed for their literature, and their multi-hued arts and crafts, but few realize how alive, how close to the surface are their powerful and enduring traditions. This study counterpoints the photographs of Roland and Sabrina Michaud with reproductions of 14th-to-19th-century Asian miniatures. These works of art capture the timeless qualities of ancient lands, while the pictures show the ubiquitous elegance of the world they depict. The two art forms enhance one another, providing an insight into the glories of the region, from glimpses of diligent students and solemn mullahs to striking Afghan horsemen. They reveal the grace, wit and strength of a creed and its people, and an abiding spirit of place.