Master of Arts (M.A.)
Degree Granting Department
Esra Akın-Kıvanç, Ph.D.
Elisabeth A. Fraser, Ph.D.
Helena K. Szépe, Ph.D.
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Fredrick Artz, Ilsamic art, Majalis al-Ushshaq, Persian poetry
This thesis is focused on a previously unpublished collage comprised of two manuscript fragments from Safavid Iran. One fragment contains a painting that depicts an enthronement scene featuring King Solomon, which, as I argue, was taken from a copy of the Majalis al-Ushshaq by Kamal al-Din Gazurgahi. The other fragment contains verses from the Divan of Hafez. The fragment from the Divan has been gutted and overlaps the painting of Solomon, effectively framing the image. Through visual and textual analysis, I argue that both fragments come from manuscripts that were produced in Shiraz. I further argue that the painting of Solomon was executed at the asitana of Maulana Husam al-Din Ibrahim in the second quarter of the sixteenth century. My argument about the fragments’ origins is followed by an exploration of the painting’s symbolism in which I focus on a broken branch, an integral component of Solomon’s iconography in Persian painting. Finally, I explore the object’s afterlife and consider how the physical reconfiguration of these fragments causes them to take on new meaning. I read the fragments as a single folio and bring to light correlations between the text and image, which, were only realized because of their uncanny union. I conclude with the collage’s collection history and a hypothesis regarding the fragments’ transatlantic route.
Scholar Commons Citation
Ellis, Richard W., "Seeing King Solomon through the Verses of Hafez: A Critical Study of Two Safavid Manuscript Paintings" (2019). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.