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Painted Interiors from the Houghton Shahnameh

Title: Painted Interiors from the Houghton Shahnameh.
Name(s): Lauren, Samantha, author
Garretson, Peter, professor directing thesis
Grant, Jonathan, committee member
Lee, Susan, committee member
Program in Asian Studies, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2004
Publisher: Florida State University
Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The following study utilizes a 1981 reproduction of a ca.1525, Safavid version of the Persian national epic, the Shahnameh, to investigate the manuscript's numerous illustrations of painted interior design. Initial research focuses on the history of wall painting in Iranian culture from the ancient through the Safavid eras. The following section offers a brief history of the Safavids themselves, as well as an overview of the immediate cultural and artistic influences that combined to create their newly syncretized aesthetic. The body of the research concentrates on an original system of classification allowing each interior motif to be categorized as one of five basic types. Labeled A through E the master types are sub-divided into several lesser categories based on their degrees of separation from the original motif. In an attempt to trace each pattern's stylistic origins, the designs are evaluated in relation to three different media that either predate or are contemporary to the production of the Safavid Shahnameh: similar images from illustrated volumes, the literary accounts of extinct Timurid and Turkman murals and the wall paintings of extant edifices. A notable corollary to this research is the conclusion that a number of the Shahnameh's interior wall paintings exhibit far eastern, aesthetic influences that pre-date the Mongolian invasions of the thirteenth century. While it is difficult to classify each of the myriad layers of meaning projected on these images, quite a few of the motifs appear to contain Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Hindu and Sufi religious symbolism as well as Soghdian and Sassanian secular references. In particular it is proposed that, in many cases, the Shahnameh's illustrations are a reliable indication of the interior wall paintings that decorated contemporaneous Turkman and Timurid palaces.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-3257 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Program in Asian Studies in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Art.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester, 2004.
Date of Defense: August 19, 2004.
Keywords: Safavids, Persian painting, miniature painting, Shah Isma'il, Shah Tahmasp, Shahnama, Shahnameh
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Peter Garretson, Professor Directing Thesis; Jonathan Grant, Committee Member; Susan Lee, Committee Member.
Subject(s): East Asia
Social life and customs
Persistent Link to This Record:
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Host Institution: FSU

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Lauren, S. (2004). Painted Interiors from the Houghton Shahnameh. Retrieved from