Lectures in Islamic Art

22 Nov 2018, 5:30pm Thomas Gray Room, Pembroke College, Cambridge

This talk will focus on the relatively large group of illustrated copies of the works of ‘Ali Shir Nava’i preserved in Istanbul libraries. They can all be dated to the first half of the sixteenth century, while most of them can be attributed even more precisely, to the two decades between 1520 and 1540. 

All manuscripts are luxuriously decorated with precious materials, which reveals their origin from a royal atelier. Such illumination and illustration programme demonstrates the book art practiced in the Turko-Persian world. Its main characteristics would be the mutual influence of the Sheybanid, Safavid and Ottoman court style of the period after the fall of the Timurids, which at times makes the attribution of their illustrations to a single centre not very straightforward.

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