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Text and Image in Medieval Persian Art

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Author: Sheila S. Blair

Series: Edinburgh Studies in Islamic Art
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press; 1 edition (April 28, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0748655786
ISBN-13: 978-0748655786

Book Description

Investigates the interaction between word and image in medieval Persian art

Focusing on 5 objects found in the main media at the time - ceramics, metalwares, painting, architecture and textiles - Sheila S. Blair shows how artisans played with form, material and decoration to engage their audiences. She also shows how the reception of these objects has changed and that their present context has implications for our understanding of the past.

Greater Iranian arts from the 10th to the 16th century are technically some of the finest produced anywhere. They are also intellectually engaging, showing the lively interaction between the verbal and the visual arts.

Key Features

1- Lavishly illustrated with around 140 colour images
2- 5 case studies the variety of Persian art
3- Investigates the interaction between the visual and the verbal in a multi-lingual society
4- Looks at the transformation of everyday objects into works of art
5- Written by one of the world's foremost experts in Persian art

Table of Contents

Preface; Introduction; I. The Art of Writing: A Bowl from Samarqand; 1. Provenance; 2. The Ceramic Setting; 3. Inscriptions; 4. Script; 5. Clientele; 6. Wider Horizons; 7. Afterlife; II. Perfuming the Air: A Rosewater Sprinkler from Herat; 1. Provenance; 2. The Geographical and Historical Setting; 3. Metalwares from Herat; 4. Patronage; 5. Function; 6. Decoration; 7. Afterlife; III. Monumentality under the Mongols: the Tomb of Uljaytu at Sultaniyya; 1. Construction and Redecoration; 2. Reasons for Redecoration; 3. The Pious Foundation; 4. The Architectural Setting; 5. The Tomb as Inspiration for later Mongol Rulers; 6. The Tomb as inspiration for the Ilkhanids’ Rivals; 7. Afterlife; IV. A Romantic Interlude: The Wedding Celebration from a Manuscript with Three Poems by Khwaju Kirmani; 1. The Text and its Calligrapher; 2. The Illustrated Folios; 3. Adding the Paintings; 4. The Royal Setting; 5. The Role of Women; 6. Afterlife; V. Proclaiming Sovereignty: The Ardabil Carpets; 1. Provenance; 2. The Inscription; 3. Gifts to shrines; 4. Why Ardabil in the 1540s?; 5. The Repurposed Jannat Saray; 6. Afterlife at the Shrine; 7. Afterlife in the West; VI. Conclusion; Bibliography.

Editorial Reviews

"Sheila Blair is an acknowledged world authority on epigraphy and this book is a scrutiny of five specific examples, arranged chronologically." - The Art Newspaper

'This splendid new book by one of the leading scholars of Islamic art manages that most difficult task-making a serious contribution to scholarship while being accessible to a wide range of readers and attractive to them. It is not a survey but five case studies: a 10th-century ceramic bowl, a 12th-century copper alloy rosewater sprinkler, a 14th-century tomb, a 15th-century manuscript painting, and a 16th-century carpet. Blair (Boston College; Virginia Commonwealth Univ.) beautifully describes and analyzes each in its immediate and its broadest historical context. Each object works like a pebble thrown into water, producing expanding circles of related objects, people involved in its manufacture and commission, and later works in its tradition or directly reflecting it in some way ... Individual chapters or the book as a whole would be suitable for use in college courses.' -- L. Nees, (University of Delaware) CHOICE

About the Author

Sheila S. Blair is Norma Jean Calderwood Chair of Islamic and Asian Art at Boston College and Hamad bin Khalifa Endowed Chair of Islamic Art, Virginia Commonwealth University.

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