The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp: The Persian Book of Kings (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

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9780300175868: The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp: The Persian Book of Kings (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
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Winner of the 20th World Prize for the Book of the Year of the Islamic Republic of Iran, given by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.--20th World Prize for the Book of the Year of the Islamic Republic of Iran"Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance" (02/27/2013)

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One of the most voluminous epics of world literature, the "Shahnama" (or "Book of Kings") narrates the history of the ancient kings of Iran, from their mythical beginnings to the Arab conquest in 651 A.D. Although illustrated copies of the poem were commissioned by numerous Iranian kings, the "Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp" (reigned 1524-1576) is arguably the most important and beautifully-illustrated version ever produced. It was created by two generations of the most renowned early-16th-century artists at the royal atelier in Tabriz, the first capital of the Safavid dynasty. Characterized by calligraphy, painting, and illuminations of exquisite quality and artistic originality, the volume is considered one of the highest achievements in the arts of the book. After its creation, the "Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp" travelled through several royal collections until it was broken up and dispersed in the 20th century. Now, for the first time, all 258 illuminated pages of this famous volume are reproduced in colour and close to their original size in this sumptuous publication.

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