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Text page from a manuscript of the (Shahnama) Book of Kings
Place of Origin: India, Karnataka state, former kingdom of Bijapur
Date: approx. 1610
Object Name: Calligraphy
Materials: Ink, colors, and gold on paper
Dimensions: H. 8 1/8 in x W. 4 7/8 in, H. 20.4 x W. 12.2 cm
Credit Line: Gift of the Collection of Gursharan and Elvira Sidhu
Department: South Asian Art
Collection: Books And Manuscripts
Object Number: 1990.219
On Display: No

Description

Label: The Shahnama, the Persian national epic written in the tenth century, was a popular text in Iran and in areas of Persian cultural influence such as India. This page-which contains only a fragment of the text and chapter headings against gold leaf backgrounds-comes from a dispersed illustrated version of the epic that was produced in the kingdom of Bijapur. Bijapur was one of several Islamic kingdoms that were established in the Deccan plateau region of southern India during the fifteenth century. The first sultan of Bijapur was descended from the Ottoman dynasty in Turkey. Like other Deccani kingdoms, however, Bijapur quickly became a place of cultural synthesis absorbing Turkish, Persian, courtly Hindu, and imperial Mughal manners and artistic styles. The small size of this page indicates that the book from which it came was one made for personal use. The quality of its illustrated pages-several of which survive in other collections-suggest that it was probably produced for a member of the Bijapur court.
Label: The Shahnama, the Persian national epic written in the tenth century, was a popular text in Iran and in areas of Persian cultural influence such as India. This page-which contains only a fragment of the text and chapter headings against gold leaf backgrounds-comes from a dispersed illustrated version of the epic that was produced in the kingdom of Bijapur. Bijapur was one of several Islamic kingdoms that were established in the Deccan plateau region of southern India during the fifteenth century. The first sultan of Bijapur was descended from the Ottoman dynasty in Turkey. Like other Deccani kingdoms, however, Bijapur quickly became a place of cultural synthesis absorbing Turkish, Persian, courtly Hindu, and imperial Mughal manners and artistic styles. The small size of this page indicates that the book from which it came was one made for personal use. The quality of its illustrated pages-several of which survive in other collections-suggest that it was probably produced for a member of the Bijapur court.