An illustrated reference book for students and scholars of Persian art, poetry, and literature.
With this book, Barbara Brend provides thorough consideration of two celebrated Persian manuscripts housed in the British Library. These two copies of the Khamsah (Quintet) a set of five narrative poems by twelfth-century poet Nizami, a master of allegorical poetry in Persian literature, were produced in Herat in the fifteenth century, one of the greatest periods of Persian painting. Although well known, the manuscripts have never before been written about in relation to each other. Brend tells the story of each poem and the painting that illustrates it, and she formally analyzes the images, placing them in their historical and artistic context.
The images from both highly prized manuscripts are beautifully reproduced in color, and the ownership history of one of the manuscripts—recorded in the form of seal impressions and inscriptions— is also included. Ursula Sims-Williams provides a translation and commentary of these important marks of ownership which identify the Mughal rulers Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb, among many others.
About the Author
Barbara Brend is a specialist in the field of Persian and Mughal painting. Her most recent books include Perspectives on Persian Painting: Illustrations to Amir Khusrau’s Khamsah and Muhammad Juki’s Shahnamah of Firdausi.
Ursula Sims-William is lead curator of the Persian collections of the British Library.
"Brend’s Treasures of Herat performs a deep dive on the two manuscripts, providing unique insights into the purpose and the means used to produce them. . . . Brend’s summary of the tradition of Persian painting and survey of other royal 15th-century manuscripts makes Treasures of Herat a valuable introduction to the topic." — Asian Review of Books