Parution: Chad Kia, Art, Allegory and the Rise of Shi’ism in Iran, 1487-1565, Edinburgh University Press, 2021


Art, Allegory and the Rise of Shi’ism in Iran, 1487-1565

Chad Kia







Explores the ways in which esoteric religion shaped the masterpieces of classical Persian painting

Transforming our understanding of Persian art, this impressive interdisciplinary book decodes some of the world’s most exquisite medieval paintings. It reveals the hidden meaning behind enigmatic figures and scenes that have puzzled modern scholars, focusing on five ‘miniature’ paintings. Chad Kia shows how the cryptic elements in these works of art from Timurid Persia conveyed the mystical teachings of Sufi poets like Rumi, Attar and Jami, and heralded one of the most significant events in the history of Islam: the takeover by the Safavids in 1501 and the conversion of Iran to Shiism.

Key features
Interprets celebrated but enigmatic paintings from collections in the Metropolitan Museum, the British Library and the Freer Gallery
Brings poetry and art together in a transformative reading of Persian illustrated manuscripts
Bridges art history, literature and religion to reconsider Shia and Safavid cultural and intellectual history
Connects Persian figural painting to the rise of the Safavids and Shiism in Iran

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