In the Realm of Princes: The Arts of the Book in Fifteenth-Century Iran and Central Asia

March 19, 2005 – August 7, 2005

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
1050 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC

Sublevel 1 Floor Plan

The Turkic warlord Timur, also known as Tamerlane, established the Timurid dynasty (1370-1506) after conquering a vast territory extending from present-day Turkey to the borders of China. Thirty-three paintings, manuscripts, and portable luxury objects from Iran and modern-day Afghanistan illustrate one of the most artistically brilliant periods in the history of the Islamic world. Works include a rare Koran folio, delicately painted manuscript illustrations, an exquisitely carved agate cup, a finely tooled wooden door, and 3 rare paintings (never before seen together) by the legendary late 15th-century artist Bihzad. These examples also show how Timurid patrons fostered the development of a distinct artistic language that affirmed their role as the rightful heirs of the Persian political, cultural, and artistic tradition.