recto
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2002.50.27
Title
Introduction to the Shahnama (illuminated text, recto; text, verso), folio from a manuscript of the Shahnama by Firdawsi
Classification
Manuscripts
Work Type
manuscript folio
Date
1562
Places
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran, Shiraz
Period
Safavid period
Culture
Persian
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/165464
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
37.2 x 23.3 cm (14 5/8 x 9 3/16 in.)
Provenance
[Christies, London, 17 October 1995, lot no. 79]. [Mansour Gallery, London, before 1997], sold; to Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood, Belmont, MA (by 1997-2002), gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2002.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art
Accession Year
2002
Object Number
2002.50.27
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
This is the left-hand side of an illuminated double page. The text, written in white within the central medallion, begins the introduction to Firdawsi’s Shahnama composed by the Timurid prince Baysunghur Mirza. The page is densely decorated with geometric motifs in blue and gold, layered with intricate floral vines and cloudbands. The design and palette are characteristic of frontispieces produced in the second half of the sixteenth century in Iran and Central Asia.

Published Catalogue Text: In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art , written 2013
73

Introduction to the Shāhnāma
Recto: half of double-page illumination, with text
Verso: text
Folio: 37.2 × 23.3 cm (14 5/8 × 9 3/16 in.)
2002.50.27

This is the left-hand side of an illuminated double page. The text, written in white within the central medallion, begins the introduction to Firdawsi’s Shāhnāma composed by the Timurid prince Baysunghur Mirza.[1] The page is densely decorated with geometric motifs in blue and gold, layered with intricate floral vines and cloudbands. The design and palette are characteristic of frontispieces produced in the second half of the sixteenth century in Iran and
Central Asia.

Mika M. Natif

[1] See Riyāḥī 1993, 364.

Publication History

Mary McWilliams, ed., In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2013), pp. 81-82, ill.; p. 223, cat. 73, ill.

Exhibition History

In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/31/2013 - 06/01/2013

32Q: 2550 Islamic, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 04/17/2019 - 11/06/2019

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This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu