Pair of Persian Lovers in Czech Republic

Era: Qajar Period, Persia.
Date: 19 century.
Material and technique: oil on canvas.
Size: 160 x 80 cm.
Kept in Kinský Palace in Prague Czech Republic.
Sources: [1],[2].

This painting is a 19th-century Iranian oil painting showing a Pair of Lovers which serves as the emblem of a exhibition in Czech Republic. The painting is part of the permanent Asian Art exhibition on the first floor of the Kinský Palace in Prague Czech Republic, and was once displayed in a small theme-based exhibition in the premises of the permanent exhibition in the Kinský Palace. The exhibition linked different spheres of Asian art with the theme of palace life focusing on love, luxury and idleness.

Haft Paikar (Seven Portraits) of the Khamsa (Quintet) of Nizami,

Illustrated detached folios, ca. 1430; Timurid Nizami (Ilyas Abu Muhammad Nizam al–Din of Ganj) (probably 1141–1217), Author; Maulana Azhar, Calligrapher Iranian; Made in Afghanistan Ink, colors, and gold on paper; Page size: 11 x 7 in. (27.9 x 17.8 cm)

Source: [1].

This item is kept in Metropolitan Museum in New York City. According to the website, The item is an opening page of a manuscript which exemplifies the accomplishment and sophistication of the court painters of Herat under the Timurid Prince Baisunghur Mirza. The delicate control of floral scrolls and arabesques, the variety of shapes, the changes of scale and colors, orchestrated to lead the eye from dense and intricate patterning to areas of more leisurely rhythms, surely attest to the highest artistry, often imitated but rarely equaled. An eavesdropper can be seen peering at the frolicking nymphs from a shuttered window of the building. The lyrical mood of this miniature typifies the idealized vision of the world depicted by the Persian painter. The balance between architectural, landscape, and human elements in the design is harmonious, and color is used to set off objects from one another and at the same time unite them within the composition. The presence of nude females is somewhat significant as well, which led the way for future artist during the Safavid Era.

Princely Couple

Source: [1]

Considering its unusually large scale, scholars have suggested that this painting of an embracing couple may have once served as a model for wall painting. No text is found on the painting to aid in the identification of the couple, but they have been compared to legendary lovers of Persian literature, including the characters of Khusrau and Shirin, known from the poet Nizami s Khamsa (Quintet).

American Turkey in the Court of Mughal Emperor

Source: [1].

For Thanksgiving, I decided to this painting which is kept in the Victoria and Albert Museum in England. It is a painting of a male North American turkey done for the Mughal emperor Jahangir to record its arrival at the court in 1612. Jahangir had asked his friend Muqarrab Khan to procure rare animals of any kind at the port of Cambay (Khambhat), on the western coast of India, and in 1612 a consignment of exotic birds and animals caused a sensation. Jahangir wrote: "as these animals appeared to me to be very strange, I both described them and ordered that painters should draw them in the Jahangir-nama ["Book of Jahangir", the emperor's memoirs, so that the amazement that arose from hearing of them might be increased.

تصویر یک بوقلمون آمریکائی در دربار امپراطوری مغولان هند با خطاطی فارسی که در موزه ویکتوریا و آلبرت در انگلیس نگهداری میشود

German Plan to Invade Persia During World War I

Source: [1]

This Link has few images taken by a group of German military officers led by Captain Fritz Klein whom were sent to fight the British in Iraq and Persia with the aid of Ottomans in order stop the Anglo-Persian oil company's operation. Captain Klein originally was a military officer working in the German embassy in Persia. Before the start of the war, he was called back home. Klein was fluent in Persian and was deeply fascinated by Persia, which resulted in his disagreements with the Ottoman plan to invade the western parts of Persia. His main aim was to create a popular uprising against the British in both Persia and Iraq. He even traveled to the City of Karbala to meet with few important Shiite leaders to gain their support. At the end,  Captain Klien was unable to gain a victory. After a major ottoman failure against the British, he left the area back to his homeland with the remaining Germans.

To learn more about the history of Germans in Persia you could look at this article in Encyclopedia Iranica: [2].

طبق اسناد تاریخی که در اختیار دویچه وله فارسی قرار گرفته، ارتش آلمان در زمان جنگ جهانی اول برای اجرای عملیات، واحدی را به فرماندهی سروان فریتس کلاین به ایران و عراق (امروز) اعزام کرده است

An Example of Anthology of Persian Poetry

Sources: [1], [2].

This is another example of a Persian poetry manuscript. It is kept in Metro Museum in New York City. I strongly believe it is about a poem by Nizami due to the form of the image since is similar to the ones about Alexander Watching the Sirens. As a result, I think this page belongs to Eskandar-nameh (Persian: اسکندرنامه) "The Book of Alexander". There is a similar item in David Museum in Denmark.

According to the museum, this manuscript was first copied in Shiraz in 1411 during the governorship of Iskandar Sultan, grandson of Timur and a great patron of the arts, particularly the arts of the book. Spaces for miniatures elsewhere in the volume were left blank and subsequently filled in by Turkman Aq Quyunlu and Ottoman painters, providing a chronicle for the manuscript's travels. The fine Nasta'liq is from the hand of a celebrated scribe who was responsible for a number of Shiraz manuscripts dating between 1405 and 1429.

گلچین ادبی (احتمالا خمسه نظامی) نوشته شده در شیراز که در موزه متروپلیتن نیویورک نگهداری میشود

Folio From a Qur'an by Calligrapher Muhammad al-Zanjani

Source: [1].

I found this in Metropolitan Museum of Art's website. Apparently, eight folios of this Qur'an are held in the Museum collection. Among these folios is the colophon page, with the signature of the scribe Muhammad al Zanjani from the town of Zanjan, in Iran. The text is written in the script known as eastern kufic with some elements in cursive (naskh), and is lavishly illuminated.

قرآن به خطاطی محمد زنجانی که در موزه متروپلیتن نیو یورک نگهداری میشود 

Indian Love Making Manual Written in Persian

Source: [1]

I found this item in Christie's. It is another Indian manuscript written in Persian. It is a page from a colorful, instructive and comprehensive work on the art of love making, illustrated with 50 miniatures depicting a wide variety of positions. This manuscript was created in the declining stages of Mughal Empire in India before it became extremely weak. It dates back to 18th century. At the time, the Persian language was still popular in the court of Mughal Emperors.

کتابچه آموزشی‌ معاشقه هندی به زبان فارسی - دوره مغولان هند - فروخته شده در حراجی کریستی

Nashmi the Archer by Riza Abbasi

Sources: [1],[2],[3].

Demons, Dragons and Monsters in Persian Folklore

Daeva (daēuua, daāua, daēva) is an Avestan language term for a particular sort of supernatural entity with disagreeable characteristics. In the Gathas, the oldest texts of the Zoroastrian canon, the daevas are "wrong gods" or "false gods" or "gods that are (to be) rejected". This meaning is – subject to interpretation – perhaps also evident in the Old Persian "daiva inscription" of the 5th century BCE. In the Younger Avesta, the daevas are noxious creatures that promote chaos and disorder. In later tradition and folklore, the dēws (Zoroastrian Middle Persian; New Persian divs) are personifications of every imaginable evil.

Equivalents for Avestan daeva in Iranian languages include Pashto, Balochi, Kurdish dêw, Persian dīv/deev, all of which apply to demons, monsters, and other villainous creatures. The Iranian word was borrowed into Old Armenian as dew, Georgian as devi, in Tajik as dev, and Urdu as deo, with the same negative associations in those languages.

Sources: [1], [2], [3]

Nizami's Five Epic Poems in Yale University

Khamsah-i Nizami [Nizami's Quintet (Five Stories)], by Nizami Ganjavi, Nizam al-Din Abu Muhammad Ilyas ibn Yusuf (1140 or 41-1202 o4 3). 9 Ramadan 970 H/2 May 1563.
The five epic poems in this illuminated Persian manuscript are: 1. Makhzan al-Asrar [Treasure Chamber of Mysteries] 2. Khusru va Shirin [Khusro and Shirin] 3. Layla va Majnun [Layla and Majnun] 4. Haft Paykar [Seven Portraits (Faces, Images, Idols, etc.)] 5. Iskandar Namah [The Story of Alexander] (in two distinct parts: Sharafnamah-i Iskandari "Alexander Book of Honor" and Iqbal Namah "The Book of Happiness") The manuscript is written in clear and handsome nasta'liq script, on white glazed paper. The text is written in four columns and all the columns of poetry are ruled in gold. There are six illuminated headings in gold and colors and nine competently executed miniatures. There are also hundreds of subheadings illuminated in gold and colors. Eighteenth-century lacquer binding, re-backed in morocco, which is embossed in arabesque design in gilt on both sides of each cover. Nizami (1140-1202) is widely considered one of the greatest poets of Persia and his most important work is the Khamsah (Quintet), a collection of five epic poems, written between 1165 and 1189. Nizami's importance in Persian literature is due to his supreme skill and influence as well as his role in presenting the archaic style of the epic poem in a lyrical form that emphasized the psychological characterization over the heroic character. The present manuscript dates from the early Safavid period and is a fine example of Safavid calligraphy, handsomely illustrated with nine miniatures. In Persian.

Source: [1]