Shahnama Project : Shahnama

Firdausi

Shahnama Project

<p style='text-align: justify;'><p>This is an album, where 51 paintings in typical early Qajar style and palette are bound together. The production would seem to date from the reign of Fath 'Ali Shah.</p><p>The book has a light green leather binding (268 x 115) in Europe with marble paper on the inside covers (in light and dark green with white and gold). The folios were significantly trimmed when it was bound: some of the inscriptions which accompanied the images on the margins were cut off, e.g. f. 10r.</p><p>Provenance: the album came from E.G. Browne's collection in 1936. This date is seen on both Browne's ex libris on the inside front cover (both in Latin and Persian) and the Cambridge University seal (f. 1r: 20 July 1936).</p><p>There is no text except the titles in Persian given either on the reverse side of the illustrated folios or next to them in the margins. The pictures are surrounded by frames of gold flowers and birds.</p><p>Two artists were responsible for producing the paintings. It is possible that they were also producing the frames.</p><p>The first produced ff. 1-9, his frames are simple (decorated with 5-petal daisies in oxidized gold), he loves cats, good at landscapes and faces, his Rustam wears his traditional outfit.</p><p>The second painter has more sophisticated frames decorated with flowers and birds, but the pictures are less imaginative: no dress code, Rustam and Kay Kavus dressed up in exactly the same costumes. One of the most interesting pictures is on f. 7 – the Battle of Gudarz and Tus. (FA)</p><p>The search is still to be completed; many of the subjects are not fully identifed from the inscriptions, some of which on the margins have also been trimmed.</p></p>


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