Curatorial fellow Shiva Mihan carries out research on illustrated manuscripts in the Islamic art collection at the Harvard Art Museums. Here she invites us to take a closer look at two folios from two different manuscripts of the Shahnama (Book of Kings). She first explores the intricate beauty of the calligraphy and floral designs of an introduction to one manuscript before showing us a riveting battle scene in another.
Shiva Mihan, Schroeder Curatorial Fellow, Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art
Introduction to the Shahnama (illuminated text, recto; text, verso); folio from a manuscript of the Shahnama by Firdawsi, Persian, Safavid period, 1562. Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, 2002.50.27.
Rustam and the Iranian Army Besiege the Fortress of Kafur the Cannibal (painting, recto; text, verso); folio from a manuscript of the Shahnama of Firdawsi, Persian, Inju period, 1341. Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, 1960.195.