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Document Details :
Title: Words and Pictures
Subtitle: The British Library's 1368-8 Khamseh of Nizami, and the Development of an Illustrative Tradition
Author(s): GRAVES, Margaret S.
Volume: 18 Date: 2002
There has been very little research into the British Library’s 1386-88 Khamseh (‘Quintet’) of Nizami (Or.13297), considering it is so far the earliest definitely dated illustrated version of this text to come to light1. Aside from Norah Titley’s brief but informative 1973 British Museum Quarterly article2, and the discussion of the manuscript in Priscilla Soucek’s 1971 PhD “Illustrated Manuscripts of Nizami’s Khamseh: 1386-1482,” little serious attention has been paid to the potential iconographic significance of the 1386 manuscript’s illustrations. This is perhaps not surprising given that scholarship in the field of Persian miniatures has tended to focus on the classical period of Persian painting, defined by Eric Schroeder as extending from 1390 to 1570. Discussion of the Jalayirid period (1335-1410) is normally concentrated upon the British Museum’s spectacular illustrated Kulliyat of Khwaju Kirmani (1396), and rarely does the 1386 Khamsehreceive much more than a passing mention.