Illuminated Frontispiece


This illuminated frontispiece was intended for a divan (compendium) of poems, which included kulliyat (collections) of muqatʻat (fragmentary verses) and qasaʼid (lyric poems), among many poetic forms. The name of each kitab (book) of verse is inscribed in white ink in every individual rectangular panel on the vertical left border of the frontispiece. These title panels are painted directly on the cardboard, which serves as a backing for the rest of the salvaged frontispiece. For this reason, they possibly are not part of the original piece. The frontispiece consists of a central roundel decorated with seven blue petals stemming from a central orange circle bordered on its perimeter by a gold strip. The outer perimeter is decorated in red, and delicate finials emanate like rays from the central roundel. The corners of the central panel are also filled with illuminated patterns, forming a diamond-shaped plain panel. All around the rectangular panel further decorative medallions ornament the margins of the page, which is pasted to the aforementioned cardboard. This frontispiece may have belonged to a Persian manuscript made in the 16th or 17th centuries.

Last updated: September 30, 2016