Treasures of Herat: Two Manuscripts of the Khamsah of Nizami in the British Library
Author: Barbara Brend (Newnham 1959)
Publisher: Gingko in partnership with the British Library
An illustrated reference book for students and scholars of Persian art, poetry, and literature. With this book, Barbara Brend provides thorough consideration of two celebrated Persian manuscripts housed in the British Library. These two copies of the Khamsah (Quintet) a set of five narrative poems by twelfth-century poet Nizami, a master of allegorical poetry in Persian literature, were produced in Herat in the fifteenth century, one of the greatest periods of Persian painting. Although well known, the manuscripts have never before been written about in relation to each other. Brend tells the story of each poem and the painting that illustrates it, and she formally analyzes the images, placing them in their historical and artistic context. The images from both highly prized manuscripts are beautifully reproduced in color, and the ownership history of one of the manuscripts-recorded in the form of seal impressions and inscriptions- is also included. Ursula Sims-Williams provides a translation and commentary of these important marks of ownership which identify the Mughal rulers Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb, among many others.