The Miniature Paintings of the Barzū-Nāma: An Illustrated Interpolation to a Qajar Shāhnama from Matenadaran Collection

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<ul><li><p>The Miniature Paintings of the Barz-Nma: An Illustrated Interpolation to a Qajar Shhnamafrom Matenadaran CollectionAuthor(s): Rachel GoldenweiserSource: Iran &amp; the Caucasus, Vol. 3/4 (1999/2000), pp. 217-224Published by: BRILLStable URL: .Accessed: 18/06/2014 10:32</p><p>Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms &amp; Conditions of Use, available at .</p><p> .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact</p><p> .</p><p>BRILL is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Iran &amp;the Caucasus.</p><p> </p><p>This content downloaded from on Wed, 18 Jun 2014 10:32:12 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p></p></li><li><p>THE MINIATURE PAINTINGS OF THE BARZU-NAMA An Illustrated Interpolation to a Qajar Sh3hnama </p><p>from Matenadaran Collection </p><p>RACHEL GOLDENWEISER Yerevan </p><p>Interpolations to Firdausi's ShhJzn&amp;na were presumably written mostly in the I Ith and 12th centuries. Their writers, frequently anonymous, utilized the old epic tradi- tion and strove to create new stories analogous to those contained in the Shahnama. These poems supplement the cycle of legends about the Sistan hero Rustam (Smn- n1ma, Garsh&amp;sp-n4ma, Jahangir-nama, Faranurz-nama, etc.).' However, they did not exist independently; rather, they were included much later and firmly into the copies of the Shahnana, acquiring definite positions between certain d&amp;stns. </p><p>One such interpolation is the Barzo-nana, which is encountered quite often in manuscript copies of the Shahnana, beginning in the Safavid period. A small extract from the Barzoi-nana was first published in 1829 by T. Makan in Calcutta2. </p><p>Naturally, it can be posited that the plots of these interpolations were no less pop- ular than than those of the basic text, i. e. Shahnama, and that they were often illus- trated. For example, judging from the data of the illustration list to St.-Peterburg's Shahnana collection (first published by L. T. Giuzali'an and M. M. D'iakonov in 1935), we see that some manuscripts do contain illustrations to the Barza-n&amp;na (SPL3 NPS 65, 01 1654, SPL 333, SPL NPS 13, et al.)'. However, I am unaware of scholarly works dedicated specifically to their elucidation. </p><p>The same can be said about the miniatures of the interpolations noted in the Preliminary Index of the Shahnama illustrations published by the University of Michigan5. The catalogs of well-known public and private Oriental manuscript col- lections time and again manifest the existence of miniature compositions illustrat- ing the Barzo-nama in a different style of miniature painting than found in extant copies of the Shahn&amp;na.' However, as for this writing, I know no publication of this rich material. </p><p>This paper attempts to expand current notions about the Barza-ni7na by examin- ing a complete manuscript copy of the Shahn&amp;na dated 1830 A.D., preserved as no. 535 in the Arabic and Persian manuscript collection of the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (Matenadaran) in Yerevan, Republic of Armenia.' </p><p>The manuscript possesses a Baysunghurl preface, and the colophon in the man- uscript states that it was prepared by order of Muhammad Karim khan Bidsharl. We also know the calligrapher, Muhammad Husain ibn Muhammad Agivll (colophon, p. 777). </p><p>The size of manuscript is 35x23,5 cm. The text measures 25x15 cm in 4 columns of 27 lines per column. The handwriting script is a small naskh of near calligraphic quality. Black ink is used. The titles are written in cursive nasta?liq containing shikas- ta elements and are in dark-crimson ink. </p><p>The manuscript has a double frontispiece on ff. 1 -2, 1 1-12, and 1 11-1 12, all of a high artistic and technical level, reminiscent of the best decorative patterns contained </p><p>RA &amp;i CAUCA^SUS, vol. -4, 1992J, pp. 217-22 inerntoa Pulctos of Irna tdj </p><p>This content downloaded from on Wed, 18 Jun 2014 10:32:12 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p></p></li><li><p>RACHEL GOLDENWEJSER </p><p>in the Herati, Tabrizi and Qazvini styles of Persian miniature painting during the 15th to 16th centuries. </p><p>The only nuance which differentiates these Qajar frontispiece from their well- known counterparts are its peculiar small flowers, painted in gouache and rendered in chiaroscuro. These flowers are ingrained in the golden arabesque found in the mar- gin of the manuscript. </p><p>The frontispiece divides the manuscript into three parts: </p><p>f. 2b Baysunghur's preface, including a satire against Mahmad Ghaznavi (38 bayts); </p><p>f. 7b The beginning of the narration; and f. 206b The story of the reign of Luhrasp. From the illustrations' execution and general unity of style it is not hard to see </p><p>here three distinctly different creative hands. However, they are contemporary to one other and can be fully considered as the works of artists belonging to the same </p><p>kftf bkhana. The paper used in the manuscript is of </p><p>high quality: cream-colored, polished, and Indian in origin. The cover-papers are facto- ry-made, bearing the stamp of the Russian Vyatkinfabrika as well as the monogram of Tsar Nikolai I. </p><p>The manuscript has a lacquer binding, whose cover is decorated with miniature com- positions representing battle scenes involving a multitude of characters (about 100 persons and 25 horses). These miniatures are distin- guished by a panoramic representation of scenes, the monumental treatment of the main characters, and the inclusion in these miniatures of 19th century military ordnance, which is historically incongruent for the events depicted in the composition. The bright-red background of the inner surface of the binding covers is decorated with minia- ture compositions in which the traditional motif of "birds and flowers" is used in medal- lions and decorative corners. </p><p>The Barza-nina is inserted between the dastans written about Bizhan and Manizha and the 12 warriors (ff. 135a-168b). It is illustrated by four of the 56 miniatures contained in the manuscript, namely: </p><p>1. Barza's mother arrives at the battlefield (f. 153b); 2. Rustam throws a feast in honor of Barza (f. 154b); 3. Tas visits the sorceress Susan's marquee (f. 157b); 4. Rustam and Barza liberate the Iranian heroes from captivity (f. 167b). </p><p>The first miniature represents the scene in which Barzta's mother arrives at the </p><p>-- -----y- -- ;_ _ Barzusmther arris at th baT </p><p>V :i3t+ t4, {'.4vW . I </p><p>) ) ' t i $ ^ t 4 </p></li><li><p>THE MINIATURE PAINTINGS OF THE BARZU-NAMA </p><p>battlefield. She tells Rustam, who has defeated the prostrate Barz-a and has raised his knife for the last stab, that Barza is Suhrab's son, i.e., Rustam's grandson - the progeny of Sam and NarTman. The excitement, terseness, and drama of the scene as well as the charac- ters' emotional state are conveyed by the painter through graphical means, i. e., plas- ticity and coloring.8 </p><p>A panoramic impression is created in the miniature by virtue of its form - rectangle joined to a trapezium. The volume of the characters' figures and the details of the com- position are rendered by means of chiaroscuro. </p><p>The proportions of the human figures in the miniatures' compositions are I to 5. The figures have long torsos and short legs, resembling the characters of early Shirazi miniatures.9 The body parts of the characters shown are disproportionate; for example, the hands are excessively long. The characters' facial emotions are produced by the raising of eyebrows, which is atypical for the Perisan miniatures of the classical period. </p><p>The coloring of the miniatures is based on the combination of bright, contrasting col- ors and tints applied to Qajar painting, specif- ically, yellow, orange, blue and the color of whitened kraplak. The latter dominates in the depictions of the characters and details of the composition. All of this is harmonious with the range of pastel colors in the main back- ground. One particular detail attracts our attention, namely, all of the boots of the per- sonages are yellow. </p><p>The second miniature depicts the scene of the feast given by Rustam in honor of his grandson Barzu.'0 The Iranian heroes Tns, Gudarz, Giv, and Gustaham are shown seated in armchairs by tables on which Europian- style carafes of green glass and crystal gob- lets are placed. The scene is situated in the interior of a veranda overlooking the neigh- bouring mountains. A golden staircase deco- rated with a picture of a serpent leading to the garden visually extends the frames of the </p><p>composition of the miniature. In the window- opening there are fluttering vermilion-colored drapery curtains with golden borders </p><p>Ik'- </p><p>I :. -, r </p><p>h b *- \\X;h *~ </p><p>Rustam throws a feast In honor of Rarzu (f. 154b) </p><p>t e X i- L; 1 </p><p>MB. '' </p><p>4 </p><p>Rustam and Barzu liberate the Iranian heros from captivity (f. 154b) </p><p>219 </p><p>This content downloaded from on Wed, 18 Jun 2014 10:32:12 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p></p></li><li><p>RACHEL GOLDENWEISER </p><p>against a background of a mountain landscape with birds flying in groups." The landscape is constructed by taking into account linear and aerial perspective. </p><p>In the composition of this miniature there is an attempt to individualize the portraits of the personages, which is characteristic to the Qajar miniature. We easily recognize Rustam by his costume, thick long beard and eyes. His pose is traditional for a seat- ed ruler in Oriental art.12 </p><p>Repeated here is the color range of the previous miniature with its predominance of Titian tinting. In various places the composition is exhilarated by silver and gold, such as in the decorations of the costume accessories and in the elements of armor and furniture. </p><p>The third miniature is the episode of Ttas's visit to the sorceress Susan. It illus- trates the part of the poem where Tas, having quarreled with Gidarz, leaves the feast and, attracted by a magical light, comes upon Susan's marvelous marquee embroi- dered with gold and silver. </p><p>In this composition we find a combination of the traditional treatment of the com- ponents of the miniature with the new technique of linear and aerial perspective uti- lized in the constructed background. The marquee is appliqued to a landscape sup- plemented with architectural staffage, which is adopted from European painting. Susan's accomplice Pilsam and his horse are painted as if they are standing on the house-tops.'3 The scale of the combination between the parts of the miniature is unbalanced, and the reproduced size of the figures achieved by means of chiaroscuro is combined with the treatment of the decorated parts of the composition, such as the marquee's fabric, the horsecloths. the carpet, etc. </p><p>The emotional mood of the personages of the composition, which is reproduced visually, supplements the coloring of the miniature. It is accomplished by several actively-colored patches, such as the blinding white of Susan's marquee, the brilliant colors of its decoration, the bright colors of the costumes and the vivid ochre patch of the architectural background. </p><p>The fourth miniature illustrates that chapter of the Barzo-NAma in which the Iranian heroes Giv, Gudarz, Tas and Gustaham are liberated from Turanian captivity by Rustam and Barzn. The composition of the miniature is divided vertically into two parts. On the right is Rustam at the head of the Iranian army, and on the left are the defeated Turanians, forced into flight and firing back. In the proscenium to the left are the captive Iranian heroes with chains on their necks. Susan is standing next to her marquee. Her accomplice Pilsam is overtaken by Rustam's cudgel. The scene takes place against the background of a mountain landscape. </p><p>This composition is characterized by a new approach of representing human fig- ures and animals and their special positions, which is typical for Qajar art. There are some poses more characteristic of Europian paintings of battle scenes than of tradi- tional Oriental miniatures, such as the pictures of enraged horses as well as the pro- files of the personages represented in complicated foreshortenings. The coloring of the composition is quite similar to the previous miniature, except for the richness of a light-rose color (pompadour) in te landscape background anld the aforementioned white localized spot of the marquee, which is balanced by a mosaic of costumes and battle flag colors. </p><p>The miniatures are painted in gouache with the use of gold and silver. The con- tour of the elements of the composition is outlined by a thin line (if. 263a, 277a, et </p><p>220 </p><p>This content downloaded from on Wed, 18 Jun 2014 10:32:12 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p></p></li><li><p>THE MINIATURE PAINTINGS OF THE BARZUI-NAMA </p><p>al.) and then painted in local color. The contour line is seen in the spots where the paint is damaged. The chiaroscuro of the voluminous details of the composition is achieved by hatching the overshaded spots with a darker color. Another peculiarity of these miniatures is their format which does not have the clearly outlined contours of a customary rectangle. The background of the composition often protrudes into intercolumnal space and the marginal notes. </p><p>Thus, the compositions of the miniatures attain panorama and allow the the onlooker to extend and supplement them visually. The above-referenced elements of graphical and aerial perspective in the construction of the composition background are also crucial to this purpose. This method also occurs in earlier Persian illustrated manuscripts (1 5th- 1 6th centuries), but here, in combination with aforementioned new graphical forms, it is the sign of a new stage in the development of the Persian minia- ture. However, we should not regard the existence of these forms as a result of the influence of European art. It has often been noted by scholars that the very course of the development of Iranian art paved the way for these later forms, starting with 16th century Tabrizi miniatures.14 </p><p>.. _ _ </p><p>The bookbinding of ms. Lacquer. Farisian style. XIX century </p><p>There is one more important feature of the miniatures in question, i. e. the above- referenced attempt to reproduce the facial emotions of the personages through graphical means. That phenomenon is characteristic of many well-known master- pieces of Qajar art."5 </p><p>The pictures of animals, particularly horses, in the miniatures of the...</p></li></ul>


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