The Look of the Book

The Look of the Book : Manuscript Production in Shiraz, 1303-1452

5 (1 rating by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


The Look of the Book assesses the role of the city of Shiraz in Iranian book production between the early fourteenth and mid-fifteenth centuries. It is the first detailed analysis of all aspects of the book--illumination, codicology, illustration, calligraphy, and binding--during this significant era when the "look of the book" was transformed. Four periods of change are identified: the years following 1340, until the end of Injuid rule in Shiraz; the later 1350s and the 1360s, during Muzaffarid rule; the years from 1409 to 1415, when the Timurid prince Iskandar Sultan was governor of Shiraz; and the decade (1435-45) following the death of Ibrahim Sultan, Iskandar's cousin and successor as governor. Although the focus is Shiraz, the author's comparative and chronological approach to the material means production elsewhere in Iran is also considered, while the results of the study increase our understanding of the history and development of the arts of the book not only in Shiraz, or even Iran as whole, but also in other centers of the Islamic world that followed the Iranian model.

Highlights of this book, which is heavily illustrated with exquisite illuminated manuscript pages, are its examination of illumination, an overlooked area of book production; the codicological aspects of the manuscripts, including paper and text layout; and the development of nasta`liq script. The manuscripts studied are held in more than fifty collections, primarily those in Dublin (Chester Beatty Library), Istanbul (Topkapi Palace Library and Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts), London (British Library), Oxford (Bodleian Library); Paris (Bibliotheque Nationale de France); and Washington, DC (Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution).
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 216 x 254 x 33.02mm | 1,792g
  • Seattle, United States
  • English
  • 152 illus., 90 in color
  • 0295991917
  • 9780295991917
  • 1,144,602

Table of contents

Preface Acknowledgments Abbreviations 1. Illumination Early Injuid Illumination Il-Khanid Illumination Late Injuid Illumination The Evidence of Injuid and Il-Khanid Metalwork The Issues of Patronage The Sahih of the Vizier Qutbuddin Sulaymanshah A Change in Aesthetics: Illuminated Muzaffarid Manuscripts The Illumination of the Fars Malik Khatun Qur'an The Development of the Mazuffarid Style Manuscripts of the Late 1350s and 1360s The Decoration of Contemporary MetalworkThe Impetus for ChangeThe Blue-and-Gold Floral Style following the Demise of the Muzaffarids Illumination under the Jaybirds Iskandar Sultan in Shiraz and Isfahan The Illuminated Manuscripts of Iskandar Sultan Iskandar Sultan's Role as a Patron of Manuscripts A Time of Change: From Ibrahim Sultan to the End of Timurid Rule in Shiraz The Emergence of a New Illumination Style The Introduction of a New Type of Paper The Illuminations of Ibrahim Sultan and Baysunghur Changes in the Manuscript Industry: Production and PatronageIllumination in the Years Following the Demise of Timurid Control of Shiraz

2. Codicology Textblock Format The Standard Format The Three-Sided Marginal Column Format The One-Sided Marginal Column Format Placement of Textblock on the Folio The Size and Proportions of Folios and Textblocks Folio AreaFolio and Textbook Proportions: Height to Width Ratios Paper Production Paper of Laid Construction Paper of Wove Construction Flocculency of Paper Paper Color Paper Thickness Sizing and Burnishing "Wove-Like" Paper in Manuscripts of the Period 839-48 / 1435-36 to 1444-45

3. Illustration An Overview of Shiraz Styles The Basic Shirazi Mode of Painting Injuid Paintings Muzaffarid-Style Paintings Paintings of the Early Timurid, Pre-Iskander Era Paintings of Iskandar Sultan Paintings from the Time of Ibrahim Sultan to 1452 Modes of Illustration Ettinghausen's Literary Model for the Categorization of Persian Painting The Case of Ibrahim Sultan's Shahnama The Layout of the Folio: The Integration of Text and Image The Shahnama Manuscripts of Baysunghur and Ibrahim Sultan Folio Layout in Other Manuscripts of the Fourteenth and Early Fifteenth Centuries The Selection of Illustrations

4. Calligraphy The Evolution of Nasta'liq Script Persian Hanging Scripts The Distringuishing Traits of Naskh and Nasta'liq The Method of AnalysisThe Corpus of ManuscriptsResults of the Script Analysis Interpretation Supporting Documentation An Overview of the Development of Natsa'liq

5. Bookbinding Construction Decoration Binding Decoration in the Fourteenth Century Binding Decoration in the First Decade of the Fifteenth Century Shiraz versus Herat: Bindings from the Time of Ibrahim Sultan and Baysunghur The Tooled Bindings of Shiraz

6. A Chronological Overview The Origins of the Classical Persian Manuscript: Changes of the Late 1350s and 1360s The Cultural and Political Milieu of Fourteenth-Century Shiraz Shiraz as a Center of Innovation The Period of Change under Iskandar Sultan The Decade of Change Following the Death of Ibrahim Sultan Conclusion

Appendixes1. Textblock Formats 2. Shahnama Translations 3. The Distribution of Text Illustrations in Shahnama Manuscripts 4. Script Analysis Tables for Individual Manuscripts 5. Manuscripts and Single Folios Cited

Notes Bibliography Index
show more

Review quote

The publication of Elaine Wright's pioneering [work] is a milestone in the history of the Islamicarts of the book. It is a truly comprehensive survey, based on a large corpus of manuscripts, of production at Shiraz between 1300 and 1452, a period that saw the steady evolution of the book as precious object. -- J.M. Rogers * Burlington Magazine *
show more

About Elaine Wright

Elaine Wright is curator of the Islamic Collections at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, Ireland.
show more

Rating details

1 rating
5 out of 5 stars
5 100% (1)
4 0% (0)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X