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5. Art et Archéologie. Période Musulmane
5.1. Monde iranophone
277

Barbara Brend. Perspectives on Persian Painting. Illustrations to Amir Khusrau’s Khamsa. London - New York, Routledge Curzon, 2003, XXVII+324 p.

Karin Rührdanz

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5.1. Monde iranophone
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1Dealing with one of the most frequently illustrated Persian works Brend presents some thirty-three manuscripts mainly produced during the 15th century, and analyses the different ways the manuscripts were provided with miniatures. In the introduction she records life and time of Amīr Ḫusraw. This is followed, in the first chapter, by summaries of the five poems constituting his Ḫamsa and emphasising illustrated episodes. Chapters 2 – 7 are dedicated to the analysis of “Manuscripts of western Iran prior to the death of Shah Rukh”, “Sultanate manuscripts”, “Manuscripts in Turkman styles”, “Ottoman manuscripts under Bayezid II”, “Classical and sub-classical styles of Herat” and “Mughal manuscripts to the period of Jahangir”. Appendix A contains a list of illustrated subjects mentioning in each case the manuscripts comprising such a miniature. Appendix B presents the cycles of illustration in the individual copies. The book is provided with 23 coloured and 104 black and white plates.

2The manuscripts and their miniatures are described in detail. Their stylistic background is illuminated, and attributions to known artists are suggested. In general, this gives a clear idea of the place of an individual miniature within the frame of the stylistic development in a certain period and of connections to earlier models. The author tentatively explains unusual selection of subjects and compositional elements. This is mostly done by recourses to ideas of artists and personal decisions of patrons, sometimes connected to dynastic history. The historical background is, therefore, explained at some length. A manuscript’s cycle of illustration, however, does not receive the same attention as the individual miniature, and lacks the embedding into the context of cultural history in a given period/region. This may in part be due to flaws in the material which complicate comparisons between manuscripts: of the thirty-three items some contain only one or two of the five poems, some have lost illustrations, others are dispersed. If the cycles are part of anthologies their visual interpretation of Amīr Ḫusraw’s work can only be understood by taking into account the complete volume. Probably, the potential of the material presented by Brend can only be exhausted when comparisons with analogous studies of other frequently illustrated Persian works will be possible in the future.

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Karin Rührdanz, « Barbara Brend. Perspectives on Persian Painting. Illustrations to Amir Khusrau’s Khamsa. London - New York, Routledge Curzon, 2003, XXVII+324 p. »Abstracta Iranica [En ligne], Volume 26 | 2005, document 277, mis en ligne le 07 décembre 2005, consulté le 17 juin 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/abstractairanica/2491 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/abstractairanica.2491

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Karin Rührdanz

Université de Hall

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