Tag Archives: Art History

Persianisms: The Achaemenid Court in Greek Art

Llewellyn-Jones, Lloyd. 2017. Persianisms: The Achaemenid court in Greek art,380–330 BCE. Iranian Studies 50(1). 1–22.

The Persians held sway over the Greek imagination for more than 200 years. The image of Persia shifted in that time from xenophobic hostility, caused through fear of the encroaching presence of the Persian empire, through to curious acceptance of its dominance. Much study has been given to the formative decades of the construction of the Persian “Other” in Greek art, but the fourth-century image of Persia has remained relatively unexplored. This paper demonstrates how Greek artists of the period 380–330 BCE fixated on the life and accomplishments of the court of the Achaemenid Great Kings and argues that instead of offering an orientalist clichéd view of Persian life, it attempted to understand and disseminate bone fide Iranian images of court society.

Problems of Chronology in Gandharan Art

Problems of Chronology in Gandharan Art

The first Gandhara Connections workshop, Oxford, 23-24 March 2017.

The Gandhara Connections project identifies chronology and dating as one of the key problems outstanding in the study of Gandharan art. Chronology is not only fundamental for establishing the nature of Gandharan art’s connections with the traditions of Greece and Rome, but also for any other systematic attempt to put it in context or explain its development.

For more details about the workshop, see the draft programme.

The Diez Albums | Brill

Gonnella, Julia, Friederike Weis & Christoph Rauch (eds.). 2016. The Diez albums: Contexts and contents (Islamic Manuscripts and Books 11). Brill.

The five Diez albums in Berlin are an important source for the study of Ilkhanid, Jalayirid, and Timurid art. The 21 essays of this book contribute to deepening our understanding of the development of Persianate art and its perception in later times. Gonnella, Weis and Rauch unite in this volume 21 essays that analyse their relation to their “parent” albums at the Topkapı Palace or examine specific works by reflecting upon their role in the larger history of book art in Iran. Other essays cover aspects such as the European and Chinese influence on Persianate art, aspects related to material and social culture, and the Ottoman interest in Persianate albums. This book marks an important contribution to the understanding of the development of illustrative imagery in the Persianate world and its later perception.

Source: The Diez Albums | Brill

Bulletin of the Asia Institute 26

Issue 26 of the Bulletin of the Asia Institute will be published in December. The information on this issue is not yet available on the journal’s website, but the content has been circulated. We are publishing the table of content based on a request by the journal.

Bulletin of the Asia Institute 26

December 2016


  • Zsuzsanna Gulácsi and Jason BeDuhn, “The Religion of Wirkak and Wiyusi: The Zoroastrian Iconographic Program on a Sogdian Sarcophagus from Sixth-Century X’ian
  • Harry Falk, “’Buddhist’ Metalware from Gandhara”
  • Dieter Weber, “Studies in Some Documents from the ‘Pahlavi Archive’”
  • Martin Schwartz, “Pahlavi = Adiantum capillus-veneris L.: Ethnobotany, Etymology, and Iranian Cultural History”
  • Ofir Haim, “An Early Judeo-Persian Letter Sent from Ghazna to Bāmiyān (Ms. Heb. 4°8333.29)”
  • Siam Bhayro, “Sergius of Reš ʿAyna’s Syriac Translations of Galen: Their Scope, Motivation, and Influence”
  • David Frendo, “Alexander’s Anti-Persian Rhetoric and the Destruction of the Achaemenid Empire: A Re-examination of the Sources”
  • Michele Minardi, “New Data on the Central Monument of Akchakhan-kala”

Shorter Notice

  • Ali Mousavi, ”Shahyar Adle (1944–2015)”


  • CANTERA. Vers une édition de la liturgie longue zoroastrienne: Pensées et travaux préliminaires (Skjærvø)
  • HILL. Through the Jade Gate—China to Rome. A Study of the Silk Routes 1st to 2nd Centuries CE (Dien)
  • BAUMER. The History of Central Asia: The Age of the Silk Roads (Rose)
  • WHITFIELD. Life along the Silk Road (Rose)
  • FALK, ED. Kushan Histories: Literary Sources and Selected Papers from a Symposium at Berlin, December 5 to 7, 2013 (Bromberg)
  • SHAYEGAN. Aspects of History and Epic in Ancient Iran: From Gaumāta to Wahnām (Brosius)
  • JULLIEN, ED. Husraw Ier: Reconstructions d’un règne. Sources et documents (Choksy and Dubeansky)

Books Received


198 + v. pp.

$80 + shipping Individual orders

For more information, please contact: bai34@comcast.net

Sasanian fantastic creature Baškuč

Matiashvili, Irma & Helen Giunashvili. 2016. Sasanian fantastic creature Baškuč (*Pasku(n)č) in Georgian Christian culture. In Dato Barbakadse & Jürgen Trinks (eds.),
Chancen und Schwierigkeiten des interkulturellen Dialogs über ästhetische Fragen. Unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Entwicklungen in der Kaukasusregion (Transkulturelle Forschungen an den Österreich-Bibliotheken im Ausland 13), 145–158. LIT Verlag.

Die Frage, ob und wie philosophische und kulturwissenschaftliche Reflexionen dazu geeignet sind, kulturelle Distanzen und die Möglichkeiten ihrer Überwindung zu klären, wird in diesem Band sowohl in grundsätzlich-philosophischen Überlegungen als auch anhand besonders aussagekräftiger Beispiele des jeweiligen Kulturkreises behandelt. Die ausgewählten Beiträge einer Tagung in Tbilisi mit TeilnehmerInnen aus Armenien, Georgien und Österreich zeugen davon, dass in der Kaukasusregion mit ihrer wechselvollen Geschichte, ihrer tief verwurzelten Volkskultur und nicht zuletzt den künstlerischen und politischen Konflikten im Streben nach einer spezifischen Moderne höchst komplexe Entwicklungen und Beziehungen zu beobachten sind. Analysen der Literatur, der bildenden Kunst, der Musik und des Films machen dies konkret.

Lecture series: Visual and Spatial Cultures of Power in Iran between Alexander and Islam

Matthew Canepa, University of Minnesota (Minneapolis), will deliver a series of four lectures at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris.

Les cultures visuelles et spatiales du pouvoir en Iran entre Alexandre et l’Islam

  • Mercredi 1er juin 2016, 17h-19h
    Rebâtir le passé perse et imaginer de nouvelles identités iraniennes
  • Mercredi 8 juin 2016, 17h-19h
    L’image royale en Iran après Alexandre
  • Mercredi 15 juin 2016, 17h-19h
    Les espaces du pouvoir iranien : palais, jardins et paysage
  • Mercredi 22 juin 2016, 17h-19h
    La scène mondiale

Source: Matthew CANEPA | École Pratique des Hautes Études

Iranica Antiqua, Volume 51

The table of contents of the latest issue (51) of the journal Iranica Antiqua:



Pope and Historiography of Persian Art

Kadoi, Yuka (ed.). 2016. Arthur Upham Pope and a New Survey of Persian Art (Studies in Persian Cultural History 10). Boston: Brill.

Ancient Near Eastern Art

This slightly older publication has just come to my attention:

Kawami, Trudy & John Olbrantz (eds.). 2013. Source: Breath of heaven, breath of earth. Distributed by University of Washington Press for Hallie Ford Museum.

Breath of Heaven, Breath of Earth: Ancient Near Eastern Art from American Collections encompasses the geographic regions of Mesopotamia, Syria and the Levant, and Anatolia and Iran, and explores several broad themes found in the art of the ancient Near East: gods and goddesses, men and women, and both real and supernatural animals. These art objects reveal a wealth of information about the people and cultures that produced them: their mythology, religious beliefs, concept of kingship, social structure, and daily life.

About the authors:

Trudy Kawami is director of research at the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation in New York.

John Olbrantz is the Maribeth Collins Director of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.

Sogdian Art and Archaelogy in China

Wertmann, Patrick. 2015. Sogdians in China. Archaeological and art historical analyses of tombs and texts from the 3rd to the 10th century AD. Deutschen Archäologischen Institut, Eurasien-Abteilung, Außenstelle Peking. (Archaeology in China and East Asia 5). Philipp von Zabern.

Sogdians, originating from present-day Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, dominated one of history’s greatest trade empires, extending from Constantinople to Korea between the 6th and 8th centuries AD. They established settlements in China and were granted positions of the highest rank at the imperial court. In recent years, richly equipped tombs attributed to members of the Sogdian diaspora were discovered in north and west China. The burial objects and inscriptions in these tombs offer surprising insights into the lives of these Central Asians. Patrick Wertmann followed the routes of the Sogdian traders and documented for his dissertation their traces in 54 museums and collections in eight countries, particularly in China. This fifth volume of the series Archaeology in China and East Asia offers the most comprehensive overview of Sogdian artefacts thus far assembled, with numerous colour photographs by the author.

The book has 347 pages with 116 full-page plates and 15 tables.

 About the Author:
Patrick Wertmann (PhD 2013) .is a specialist in East Asian art history and now working in the Sino-German cooperation project “Silk Road Fashion” of the Beijing Branch Office, Eurasia Department, German Archaeological Institute.