Re: [Marbling] Two papers on marbling
- THANK YOU JAKE.... for all your work and information for decades, and your dedication to marbling. You are a gem!
On 05/15/12, jemiljan<jemiljan@...> wrote:
Greetings Fellow Marblers,
Later this year, I will be presenting some of my research on marbling drawn primarily from Persian sources in two parts at two different conferences. The The first, "Naqsh Bar Āb: The Transfer of Paper Marbling Techniques between India, Iran and Turkey", will be given at the International Society of Iranian Studies (ISIS) conference, which is being held for the first time ever in Turkey. My presentation on a panel concerning Safavid sources on Art and Craft (Panel #101), moderated by Professor Sussan Babaie.
In case anyone in Istanbul is interested, you can register for the conference here:
There is a day rate and reasonable student rate as well.
That lecture will focus primarily on both literary and historical sources primarily in Persian (though I'll mention passages in two Turkish texts as well), especially a pair of letters written by two artists in Ardabil in Iran, to another Persian marbler in India, Mir Muhammad Tahir, who had sent to them samples of his work. Basically, they both express their amazement at seeing his work in the most eloquent of terms. The letters make clear that the governor of Azerbaijan and the guardian of the Safavid ancestral shrine in Ardabil, Z'ulfiqar Khan Qaramanlu, was himself astonished by the papers and ordered the artists to make similarr ones for use on his manuscripts. The first letter by Mulla Khalili Veqqari is an extremely finely written letter in the most eloquent style of rhyming prose. He basically ask the Mir for hints and tips about his methods. The second letter by Yahya Qazvini, who is also mentioned as a marbler in the Gulistan-i Hunar of Qazi Ahmad, indicates that the Mir has responded, to his query and so he is sending him samples asking him for criticism. It also contains a clever chronogram making a pun on the MIr's name, which is dated to 1599-1600.
The second part, "Naqsh bar ab: Safavid marbled papers of the late 16th-early 17th century," will be presented at the Metropolitan Museum for the Historians of Islamic Art Assn. symposium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in October, on the third panel entitled "Paper and Painting," on October 19th, which is chaired by Dr. Eleanor Sims. For more information, see:
There is no single-day registration for this symposium, but members of the Met Museum and students do receive discounts.
This second presentation will cover the early evolution of marbling, and focus on the analysis of physical evidence in light of the literary sources that I will have covered at the ISIS conference. Much of the discussion will focus on specific marbled papers in the Met Museum, including the brilliantly colored and gold-flecked marbled borders Mantiq al-Tayr (Conference of the Birds) by Farid al-Din Attar.
Here's just one leaf from this manuscript:
A Persian accession seal spanning the marbler border and the text is from the Safavid Ancestral shrine in Ardabil, where the aforementioned artists worked, and it is also dated very soon after the date that Yahya Qazvini's letter was written, indicating that they were likely made there using the Mir's instructions. The marbling is clearly more advanced than what is seen before that time: very crisp, fine lines, brilliant colors, and more careful and intentional pattern formation. Also, at least eight colors were used instead of just 3-4 at most as seen in papers before that time.
Together, this evidence provides proof that the techniques and procedures for marbling as we know it today were really honed in India before being transferred to Iran and Turkey. I'm not saying it was invented there (and that is still a contentious issue in my view), but the art was definitely perfected there, and passaged in the Turkish Tertib-i Risale-i Ebri (dated after 1615) also indicate that the author was aware of some of these techniques, for he mentions Indian materials and specifically comments on their being unavailable in Turkey. It is my hope that by presenting this research, a certain balance will be brought to current information on marbling, which almost exclusively focuses on Turkey and Turkish techniques. I do plan to publish both papers together as one article in a peer-reviewed journal such as Muqarnas or Artibus Asiæ, or the Journal of Islamic Manuscripts.
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