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Tile with verses from the Shahnama (Book of Kings)
Place of Origin: Iran, probably from Takht-i-Sulaiman
Date: 1270-1280
Historical Period: Ilkhanid period (1256-1353)
Materials: Glazed fritware with underglaze painting
Dimensions: H. 11 1/4 in x W. 11 in x D. 1 in, H. 28.6 cm x W. 27.9 cm x D. 2.5 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: West Asian Art
Collection: Ceramics
Object Number: B60P2146
On Display: No

Description

Label:

These tiles (B60P2145 and B60P2146) contain parts of verses from the Persian national epic, the Shahnama, composed by the poet Firdausi around the year 1000. The Shahnama tells the story of ancient Iran up to the seventh-century Arab-Islamic invasion in a series of heroic tales based on history and legend. Its tales were known by all, and every ruler had his own deluxe manuscript of the Shahnama, prepared by the best artists. It has been suggested that since these stories were so well known, inscribed tiles like these two give only the opening verses of longer sections as a hint for the viewer who could then recall the entire story.

These tiles (which were not contiguous) were part of a large frieze from Takht-i Sulaiman, a seasonal lakeside palace high in the mountains of northwestern Iran. Takht-i Sulaiman was built in the 1270s by the Ilkhanid ruler Abaqa Khan. The Mongol Ilkhanids (1256–1353), were not Persian, and their use of the Shahnama has been interpreted as a way to link themselves to its powerful Persian tradition of kingship.


More Information

Exhibition History: "The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256-1353", The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 10/28/2002 - 2/16/2003, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 4/13/2003 - 7/27/2003
Arts of the Islamic World from Turkey to Indonesia (Tateuchi Gallery, September 5, 2008 - March 1, 2009)
Label:

These tiles (B60P2145 and B60P2146) contain parts of verses from the Persian national epic, the Shahnama, composed by the poet Firdausi around the year 1000. The Shahnama tells the story of ancient Iran up to the seventh-century Arab-Islamic invasion in a series of heroic tales based on history and legend. Its tales were known by all, and every ruler had his own deluxe manuscript of the Shahnama, prepared by the best artists. It has been suggested that since these stories were so well known, inscribed tiles like these two give only the opening verses of longer sections as a hint for the viewer who could then recall the entire story.

These tiles (which were not contiguous) were part of a large frieze from Takht-i Sulaiman, a seasonal lakeside palace high in the mountains of northwestern Iran. Takht-i Sulaiman was built in the 1270s by the Ilkhanid ruler Abaqa Khan. The Mongol Ilkhanids (1256–1353), were not Persian, and their use of the Shahnama has been interpreted as a way to link themselves to its powerful Persian tradition of kingship.


Exhibition History: "The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256-1353", The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 10/28/2002 - 2/16/2003, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 4/13/2003 - 7/27/2003
Arts of the Islamic World from Turkey to Indonesia (Tateuchi Gallery, September 5, 2008 - March 1, 2009)