This website is an archive of book paintings–commonly known as Persian Miniatures–that were created to illustrate scenes from the Persian national epic, the Shahnama (the Book of Kings). The Shahnama is a poem of some 50,000 couplets that was composed by Abu’l Qasim Firdausi over a period of several decades in the late tenth and early eleventh centuries. The core of this archive is a fund of 277 illustrations from five illustrated manuscripts of the Shahnama that are housed in Princeton University’s Firestone Library and which were bequeathed to Princeton by Clara S. Peck and by Robert Garrett (Class of 1897). These manuscripts date from 1544 to 1674 AD, and vary a good deal both in the number and quality of paintings each contains, and in the scenes chosen for illustration.

http://www.princeton.edu/~shahnama/

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