Paper Information

Journal:   NEGAREH   summer 2018 , Volume 13 , Number 46 #b00511; Page(s) 102 To 111.
 
Paper: 

Identifying and Introducing the Painters and Patrons of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh Preserved in the National Library of France and Registered under Number 490

 
 
Author(s):  PAKZAD ZAHRA*
 
* Department of Painting, Faculty of Art, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran
 
Abstract: 
The Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, kept in the National Library of France, registered under number 490 and transcribed by Mohammad Jan Al-Kermani in 1012 AH, was first introduced in “ Manifestation of Persian Art” by Francis Richter, but the data presented there has been limited to a library registration form that merely referred to the painters, orderers, and the workshop where this copy of the book was produced. Quoting Stchoukin, Richter writes in the same book that “ Stchoukin believes these paintings are the works of numerous artists of that era in Shiraz and Qazvin” . Transcription of this well-known poetry book by Ferdowsi, as it can be found out from the signed page of the book, page 469, was performed in the late Dhu al-Qidah of 1012 AH (April 30, 1604 AD). This copy includes 50 paintings that without doubt have been painted later than the texts, considering that their transcription and style are entirely different from the first five paintings. The specifications of this copy of Shahnameh are not mentioned in any of the manuscript books listing, except for Francis Richter’ s book. Richter believes that fifty paintings existing in this illustrated copy belong to a time later than its transcription. “ The first four paintings are not related to the Shanameh’ s text, but the fifty other ones inserted into the Shahnameh manuscript correspond to the Shahnameh stories” . This manuscript is described compared to the 1008 AH copy of Shahnameh kept in Niavaran palace-museum. The 1008 AH copy of the Shahnameh is transcribed and illustrated in Herat workshop, while transcription of the 1012 AH Shanameh has begun in Herat library, but its paintings have been completed some years later (the interval between transferring the capital from Qazvin to Isfahan) in the era of Shah Abbas I in a royal workshop in Isfahan. The purpose of this research is to identify and introduce the patron, workshop and its illustrators. For this purpose, this research identifies and introduces this version, through the examination of the features such as illumination, the method of painting of the illustrations and comparing it, comparatively and historically with similar copies, artists, patron, and the workshop in which this version has been created. The main question of the present research is that, “ what is the ordering workshop” , and “ who are the illustrators” of Shahnameh of National Library of France, numbered 490. The methodology of this research is based on a comparative, historical comparison and reviewing of the executive methods of the illustration. For this purpose, written references, and historical and library documents are used. It is concluded that both manuscripts were transcribed under supervision of the same workshop artists. The similarity between paintings in terms of structure and executive method also support this claim. On the other hand, the name of the writer of these two illustrated copies of Shahnameh, i. e. Mohammad Jan Al-Kermani, reinforces this probability. The scribe of this copy has not signed it, but from its execution method and its style and register we can find out that at least three of four artists, have cooperated in creating the paintings of this copy. Since this copy is transcribed in 1012 AH and in Herat City, as one of the most prominent painters of this era, we can name Habibullah Savoji. The ruler of that era took him from Qom to Herat and assigned the responsibility of the workshop to him. After that, he was recruited by Shah Abbas I and began his work first in Qazvin and then in Isfahan. Welch in his book “ Shah Abbas and Isfahan Artists” writes “ He was in the service of Abbas Mirza in Herat and was transferred to Qazvin along with him and was considered one of the court painters” . The visual features of the illustrations of Shahnameh of French National Library represent the characteristics of the Qazvin and Isfahan schools. Considering the position of Habibollah Savoji at that historical period and the influence of his operational method on the illustration of this version of Shahnameh, some of its illustrations can be undoubtedly attributed to him; other illustrations of this version were performed in the manner of Mohammad Heravi. In fact, creativity of the artists who have been active by 1006 AH in royal library of Herat and then in Qazvin, has flourished in Isfahan school, and on the other hand, is followed and supported in Herat and in the library of Hossein Khan and Hassan Khan (Turkman), two patrons of illustrated manuscripts. In sum, cooperation of several painters can be seen in the paintings of the Shahnameh existing in National Library of France. Two of the most notable of these painters are Habibullah Savoji (Mashhadi) and Mohammad Heravi, whose manner of execution is recognizable in this copy of Shahnameh.
 
Keyword(s): Persian miniature,School of Qazvin,School of Isfahan,Illustrated Shahnameh,National Library of France
 
References: 
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