FINE ARTS

Bestowing Beauty: Masterpieces from Persian Lands—Selections from the Hossein Afshar Collection

Yale Univ. 2019. 304p. ed. by Aimee Froom. ISBN 9780300247022. $85. fine arts;.
COPY ISBN
Published as a “reflection” of a 2017–18 exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, this impressive volume includes a wealth of information provided by specialists in the field, gathered by curator Froom, who overseas the museum’s Art of the Islamic Worlds collection. This title looks at one of the most distinguished and diverse private collections of Persian art spanning several centuries. Miniatures, ceramics, portraits, gold inlaid pages of the Qur’an, velvets, silks, paintings from Firdausi’s epic Shahnama (Book of Kings), and miles of splendid carpets depicting the natural and mythical world are included. A 17th-century copper bowl, inscribed with a prayer for its owner, glows with a sheen contrasted by the black incisions. A more modern addition is a 19th-century portrait of the fourth ruler of the Qajar dynasty, seated in his gilded chair, draped in jewels. The themes are universal: faith and piety, nature and fantasy, celebrations and rituals, as well as warriors, battles and sacrifice.
VERDICT Art lovers and scholars alike will delight in this visually and intellectually stimulating collection of Persian art.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month