Shahnameh (Book of Kings) Epic poem of mythical history of Iranian kings, in Persian, transmitted orally (continues today)Recorded in written form by the poet Firdawsi at the court of the Ghaznavid rulers in Afghanistan, ca. 1010
What is the role of the Shahnameh in (re)writing history in Iran? How was it used by the Seljuqs,Mongol/Ilkhanids, Timurids & Safavids
Simurgh (magical phoenix-like bird; symbol of royalty in the Shahnameh) on a luster tile, ca. 1270 possibly from the Mongol palace at Takht-i Suleyman (Throne ofSolomon) & Bahram Gur hunting with Azada, Seljuq tile
Beaker with thestory of Bijan and Manijeh, early 13th C., Seljuq, minai ware What is the importance ofthis beaker in the history of Shahnameh illustrations?
Like the Seljuqs, the Ilkhanids used glazed ceramics in a number of ways - for objects and as applied architectural decoration.What new techniques were developed in each period? Howdid the application of glazed tiles work in architecture and how did it vary? Consider the following uses & techniques: luster (how did it differ from earlier periods?) lajvardina (= lapis lazuli color with applied gold) minai (also known as haft awrang = seven colors) checkerboard (also known as “brick-style) The Timurids further elaborated these uses through the invention of cuerda secca (dry cord) technique
Bahram Gur & the Dragon, illustrations from Mongol (ca. 1335) & Timurid (ca. 1440) Shahnamehs.What is the relationship between text & illustration, background & figures? Compare color, form & space.
Bahram Gur & the Dragon (detail)
Episodes from the life of Alexander the Great(Iskandar). Iskandar’s Iron Army (right) & Bier of Alexander (left). Mongol Shahnameh, ca. 1335
Universal History (Jam’i al-Tawarikh) written by the Ilkhanid minister Rashid al-Din Copy of ca. 1315, Tabriz (western Iran) How does this work reflect and represent Mongol history?How do the illustrations compare to those from the Shahnameh of 1335?
The BuddhaOffers Fruit to the Devil
Noah & the Arc
The Birth of the Prophet Muhammad
Siege of Baghdad in 1258
Bihzad, Yusuf &Zulaykha, from the Bustan of Sa’di, Herat, 1488 Kamal al-Din Bihzad (born ca. 1450 - died in Tabriz, 1535-6)worked for the Timurids in Herat Shaybanids in BukharaBrought to Tabriz by Shah Ismail Safavid
Bihzad, At the Public Bath, Herat, 1494
Allegory of Worldy & Otherworldly Drunkenness, from a Diwan(Collected Poems) of Hafiz, paintedby Sultan Muhammad, ca. 1526-27, Tabriz
Safavid Royal Shahnameh for Shah Tahmasp 1525-35, Tabriz
Nushirvan & the Owls, from aKhamsah (Quintet or FiveCollected Poems) of Nizami,for Shah Tahmasp Safavi,1539-43
Reza Abbasi (Court painter of Shah Abbas), Lady with Fan,ca, 1592 & wall painting from Isfahan palace, late 17th C.Development of single figure & Album painting and new handling of space