Peerless Images: Persian Painting and Its Sources

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9780300090383: Peerless Images: Persian Painting and Its Sources
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This book is the first survey of the figural arts of the Iranian world from prehistoric times to the early twentieth century ever to consider themes, rather than styles. Analyzing primarily painting - in manuscripts and albums, on walls and on lacquered, painted pen boxes and caskets - but also the related arts of sculpture, ceramics, and metalwork, the author finds that the underlying themes depicted on them through the ages are remarkably consistent.
Eleanor Sims demonstrates that all these arts display similar concerns: kingship and legitimacy; the righteous exercise of princely power and the defense of national territory; and the performance of rituals and the religious duties called for by the paramount cult of the day. She describes a variety of superb works of art inside and outside these categories, noting not only how they illustrate archetypal themes but also what it is about them that is unique. She also discusses the ways that Iranian art both influenced and was influenced by invaders and neighboring lands.
Boris I. Marshak discusses pre-Islamic and also Central Asian art, in particular the earliest Iranian wall paintings and their pictorial parallels in rock carvings and metalwork, and the richly painted temples and houses of Panjikent. Ernst J. Grube considers religious imagery, and provides an informative bibliography.

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From the Back Cover:

"Far more than a mere history of Persian painting, this book takes us on a journey of discovery through an enchanted world of battles and combats, demons and dragons, landscapes and lovers, informed throughout by the author's deep knowledge and passion for her subject." -Jonathan M. Bloom, coauthor of The Art and Architecture of Islam, 1250-1800

About the Author:

Ernst J. Grube was the first curator of Islamic art at the Metropolitan Museum and is now professor emeritus of the University of Venice.

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Sims, Eleanor
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