Discoveries at the British Library

The British Library sounds like a great place to work -- or, at least, to go exploring.  "By chance I noticed this entirely unknown illustrated copy of Firdawsi’s Shahnamah a few weeks ago," writes Ursula Sims-Williams in the library's Asian and African studies blog.  The manuscript has 48 paintings signed by the 17th-century Persian artist Muhammad Yusuf -- … Continue reading Discoveries at the British Library

An Indo-Persian garden in Yonkers – who knew…

This was probably my favorite "find" at Untermyer. Standing guard by the back entrance (right by a derelict guard house where, some rumors have it, the Son of Sam serial murderer hid out). Isn't he gorgeous? Some attribute this relief to Edward Clark Potter who carved the lions in front of the New York Public … Continue reading An Indo-Persian garden in Yonkers – who knew…

Truth in translation?

Ever wonder just how tricky translations can be?  Here's a little case study.  I saw that a Russian website had picked up  my review of the Islamic galleries at the Louvre so I decided to check it out.  Here is an excerpt from the original in English: The narrative tries to insert into [the show's] chronological … Continue reading Truth in translation?

Who knew the Morgan Library had a  collection of wonderful Islamic miniatures, calligraphy and manuscripts?   by Ibn Bakhtishuç (d. 1058) from Manafic-i hayavan (The Benefits of Animals). Persia, between 1297 and 1300.Don't you just love the way the calligraphy expresses in abstract forms the clash of the rams' horns?  And how this adds energy to … Continue reading