Shamsa (recto) from right folio from a double-page frontispiece of a Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdausi (940–1019 or 1025)

Shamsa (recto) from right folio from a double-page frontispiece of a Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdausi (940–1019 or 1025)

c. 1444

Part of a set. See all set records

Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

Image: 27.7 x 10.3 cm (10 7/8 x 4 1/16 in.); Overall: 32.5 x 22.1 cm (12 13/16 x 8 11/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1945.169.a

Description

At the center of the recto side of this folio is a shamsa, or sunburst, an exquisite symmetrical pattern of floral and geometric shapes painted in precious pigments and gold to reference divine light. The shamsa might have been intended to contain a name or portrait identifying the manuscript’s original owner, but in this case it is empty.

See also
Collection: 
Islamic Art
Department: 
Islamic Art
Type of artwork: 
Manuscript

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