The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp: The Persian Book of Kings (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

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9780300175868: The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp: The Persian Book of Kings (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

One of the most voluminous epics of world literature, the Shahnama (or "Book of Kings") narrates the history of the ancient kings of Iran, from their mythical beginnings to the Arab conquest in 651 A.D. Although illustrated copies of the poem were commissioned by numerous Iranian kings, the Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp (r. 1524-1576) is arguably the most important and beautifully illustrated version ever produced. It was created by two generations of the most renowned early-16th-century artists at the royal atelier in Tabriz, the first capital of the Safavid dynasty. Characterized by calligraphy, painting, and illuminations of exquisite quality and artistic originality, the volume is considered one of the highest achievements in the arts of the book. 

After its creation, the Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp traveled through several royal collections until it was broken up and dispersed in the 20th century. Now, for the first time, all 258 illuminated pages of this famous volume are reproduced in color and close to their original size in this sumptuous publication.

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Book Description:

This smaller, more accessible version of the 2011 sold-out deluxe edition offers beautiful illustrations and informative supplementary texts.

About the Author:

Sheila R. Canby is the Patti Cadby Birch Curator in Charge of the Department of Islamic Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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FIRDAUSI - SHEILA R. CANBY (Introduction by)
Published by New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011., New York: (2011)
ISBN 10: 0300175868 ISBN 13: 9780300175868
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Book Description New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011., New York:, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. FIRDAUSI - SHEILA R. CANBY (Introduction by) The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp: The Persian Book of Kings. [Metropolitan Museum of Art]. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. First edition, folio (46x31 cm. / 18x12,5 inches), 287, [1] p., 300 color ills. "The publication of this book commemorates the one thousandth anniversary of the completion of the Shahnama, the Persian national epic, which was written down in more than 50,000 couplets by the poet Firdausi. It also celebrates the most lavishly illustrated version of this text, a manuscript produced for the Safavid Shah Tahmasp, who ruled Iran from 1524 to 1576. The Metropolitan Museum is fortunate to own 78 of the 258 illustrations to this text, a selection of which is on view in the Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Gallery of Later Persian Art, open from November 2011. Thanks to the generosity of the Iranian-American community and the annual NoRuz at the Met Benefit it has held in recent years at the Metropolitan, all of the illustrations to Shah Tahmasp's Shahnama are being published in color for the first time in a single volume. Held in collections across America, Europe, and the Middle East, these illustrations may never again be physically reunited, making this book an important resource for lovers of sixteenth-century Persian painting. By printing a facsimile of the illustrations, we hope that readers will experience some of the wonder that the young Tahmasp must have felt when he opened his manuscript. The original book was large, but not too big to lift. Inside its covers, stories and pictures of battles and trysts, kings and heroes, would have unfolded as he turned the pages. Iranians still know every twist and turn of many of these tales. For those unfamiliar with the Shahnama, its vividly painted illustrations provide an excellent introduction" Thomas P. Campbell (Director, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Original cloth binding. In the original slipcase. New ISBN: 9780300175868 CATALOG: Turkish & Islamic arts KEYWORDS: Miniature Persian literature Persian Art Traditional arts Calligraphy Calligrapher Painting Manuscripts. Bookseller Inventory # 56133

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