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Shah-nama (Demotte) of Firdawsi, Tabriz, 1330-1336: The Bier of the Great Iskandar

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CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham
Title: Shah-nama (Demotte) of Firdawsi, Tabriz, 1330-1336: The Bier of the Great Iskandar
Author(s): Gray, Basil
Photographer: Arthur Llewellyn Basham
Keywords: Mediaeval painting;paintings;miniatures;book scan
Description: The coffin of the dead king has been placed on a platform like a Chinese emperor, with carved panels of Chinese floral subjects round the sides, but it is surrounded by four tall candles set in candlesticks of Islamic shape
and the whole stands on a carpet with an interlace centre and border of stylised Kufic. Above the bier and on either side hang glass lamps, as used in a mosque. The mourners have let their hair and beards grow. Behind the coffin and next to stands a bearded figure, Aristotle, the tutor of the dead king. Falling across the bier is the distraught figure of the mother of Iskander, her robe hanging in tortured folds, which are the focal point of the whole picture. The composition is held together and given stability by the architectural structure, with its emphatic verticals, and the symmetrical plan. Such symmetry had been an Iranian contribution to the school of Mesopotamia in the previous century. This is an example of Chinese innovations fitted into an Iranian conception of the picture. -- 9.8125 x 11".
Other Identifiers: ANUA 682-4286


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