Valérie Gonzalez received her doctorate in the Humanities, specialising in the Arab world, from l’Université d’Aix–en–Provence and holds a diploma in painting from l’Ecole des Beaux–Arts de Marseille–Luminy. Formerly a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, she is currently a Research Associate at l’Ecole d’Architecture de Marselle–Luminy where she lectures on the history of architecture and Islamic town planning. Dr Gonzalez is the author of Le Piège de Salomon, La Pensée de l’art dans le Coran (Albin Michel, 2002), Beauty and Islam: Aesthetics in Islamic Art (I.B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2001) andEmaux d’al–Andalus et du Maghrebinfo-icon (Edisud, 1994) as well as numerous articles on art history and Islamic aesthetics.