For the first week, the pages mostly paintings – by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (French, 1780-1867), Claude Monet (French, 1840-1916), Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American, 1858-1924) and Paul Klee (German, 1879-1940). There is a wool garment by Linda Mendelson (American, b. 1940) called “I Made My Song A Coat”.
Among them, there is an illustrated manuscript called Shahnama (Book of Kings) by a poet, Abu’l Qasim Firdaust and some calligraphers and artists dated back 1663-69. What caught my eyes is the use of perspective and bright pigments, not to mention the characters in this illustration all look alike. MET website provides some information about the manuscript:
It was completed around 1010 A.D. by Abu’l Qasim Firdausi Tusi (935–1020), and was dedicated to the Ghaznavid ruler Mahmud of Ghazna (r. 998–1030), who had succeeded in gaining power over eastern Iran and modern-day Afghanistan by the end of the tenth century. In the eyes of the poet, this king appeared as the long-awaited ruler who could end dynastic strife and reunify the region. Thus, he seemed the ideal dedicatee for a work meant to celebrate Iran’s past glory. Unfortunately, the ruler’s response was not as enthusiastic and generous as expected. According to some sources, before dying, the poor and sick Firdausi voiced his disappointment for the little compensation received in a harsh satire against the sultan.
It ignites my intention to read the novel dusted on my bookshelf since some years ago, My Name Is Red, which also beholds Persian miniature tradition. But a more important lesson from the poet, especially in the beginning of the year – don’t kiss ass!