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Muqarnas 37 introduces new research on Islamic material culture ranging from Abbasid period mosaics to the early twentieth-century art market. Featured articles include Charles Melville’s introduction of a chronicle that sheds light on the architectural program of Shah ʿAbbas I, in particular his patronage of the dynastic shrine at Ardabil. From the Ottoman period, two essays discuss painted manuscripts: the first traces shifting representations of urban space in late sixteenth-century Istanbul, and the second focuses on sumptuous objects—namely, candy gardens and decorated palms—accompanying the extraordinary 1720 circumcision festival under Sultan Ahmed III. Another article seeks to unravel the mysterious origins of an unusually sophisticated painting of Mecca from the seventeenth or eighteenth century. Other topics covered are archaeological finds in Tunisia, and the legacy of Russian modernization efforts in the architecture of East Anatolia, especially the city of Kars. The Notes and Sources section examines the waqfiyya of the earliest surviving Halveti lodge in Amasya, as well as the function of various types of lamps in contemporary Pakistani Sufi shrines.
Muqarnas 36 features a stunning variety of Islamic art genres, ranging from monumental architecture, manuscripts, textiles, and tiles, to inscriptions, material objects, and forgery. It sweeps across India, Iran, and Turkey, and concludes in Britain, with the discovery of an Ashmolean Museum objet d’art that is not exactly what it is advertised to be.
The volume begins with an overview by Finbarr Barry Flood of the architecture, calligraphy, epigraphy, painting, and portable arts of pre-Mughal Islamicate South Asia. Pre-Mughal court culture has always played second fiddle to the overwhelming hegemony and brilliance of the Mughal dynasty but in its regional heterogeneity it is more than worthy of study. This is followed by two essays examining manuscript illumination: Cailah Jackson, 2017 winner of the Margaret B. Ševčenko Prize in Islamic Art and Culture, discusses two manuscripts illuminated by Mukhlis ibn ʿAbdallah al-Hindi in thirteenth-century Konya; and Denise-Marie Teece treats the early sixteenth-century Safīna manuscript (Biblioteca Reale Ms. Or. 101), its illuminator Ruzbehan al-Modhahheb, and its unique six-page preface. A Byzantine stole with embroidered Arabic inscriptions in the collection of Vatopediou Monastery on Mount Athos is the subject of the fourth essay by Nikolaos Vryzidis. The volume’s seven essays conclude with three investigations into Ottoman art history: the blue-and-white tiles of the Baba Naqqaş style of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, as prominently displayed in the Muradiye Mosque in Edirne (Patricia Blessing), the architectural book Risāle-i Miʿmāriyye of the seventeenth-century Caʿfer Efendi and in particular his notes on surveying and the architect’s cubit (Gül Kale), and the evolution of the late sixteenth-century Ottoman custom of requiring the sultan to be victorious over the non-Muslim enemy and to only use spoils from the holy war in the construction of a sultanic mosque (Samet Budak).
The Notes and Sources section continues with Bill Hickman’s analysis of the tantalizing calligraphed tiles of the now destroyed mosque built for the Sufi shaykh and poet Eşrefoğlu Rumi (d. 1469?), and two communications about artifacts on British soil: a wooden box, believed to have contained the heart of Abbot Roger de Norton (d. 1291), with an Arabic inscription that is now deciphered by Barry Knight, 147 years after its discovery; and a gorgeous Persian luster bowl in Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, which when subjected to UV examination, revealed that it was a product of extensive repair, or “restoration,” over the centuries. A systematic examination of the bowl and its remarkable history by Francesca Leoni and her colleagues uncovers a level of fakery of antiques that, it is suggested, might be prevalent in museum ceramic collections.
Author: Barry Wood
The Adventures of Shāh Esmāʿil recounts the dramatic formative years of the Safavid empire (1501–1722), as preserved in Iranian popular memory by coffeehouse storytellers and written down in manuscripts starting in the late seventeenth century. Beginning with the Safavids’ saintly ancestors in Ardabil, the story goes on to relate the conquests of Shāh Esmāʿil (r. 1501–1524) and his devoted Qezelbāsh followers as they battle Torkmāns, Uzbeks, Ottomans, and even Georgians and Ethiopians in their quest to establish a Twelver Shiʿi realm. Barry Wood’s translation brings out the verve and popular tone of the Persian text. A heady mixture of history and legend, The Adventures of Shāh Esmāʿil sheds important light on the historical self-awareness of late Safavid Iran.
Muqarnas 35 begins in Almohad Marrakesh, with one article analyzing the plan of the twelfth-century Kutubiyya Mosque and another on the hydraulics, architecture, and agriculture of the Agdal, a medieval Islamic estate that continues to be cultivated. The volume also contains an essay discussing the patronage and decoration of the Begumpuri Masjid of Jahanpanah (Delhi), with an accompanying note tracing the history of glazed tiles. Several articles challenge long-held scholarly assumptions on topics such as Mughal portraiture and the atypical square-tower minarets in Herzegovina. Other essays deal with questions of cultural identity, whether manifested in grand-scale architectural monuments or in personal belongings—for example, the family photo album with portraits of Ottoman sultans compiled by a Hungarian woman who immigrated to Istanbul in the mid-nineteenth century; and an illustrated genealogy from seventeenth-century Baghdad that represents tensions between the Ottomans and Safavids. Rounding out the volume is a history of modern art in Baghdad, focusing on the painter Jewad Selim and his encounter with Yahya al-Wasiti’s illustrations of the Maqāmāt al-Ḥarīrī. The Notes and Sources section announces the discovery of two rare early Abbasid painted ceramic bowls from recent excavations in central Israel. It also features a study of a nineteenth-century Persian manuscript on porcelain manufacture; as well as a heretofore-unknown manuscript of The Arabian Antiquities of Spain by the Irish architect James Cavanah Murphy, with many extra illustrations, original drawings, and proofs of plates. Volume 35 includes articles by Julio Navarro et al., Abbey Stockstill, Yves Porter and Richard Castinel, Laura E. Parodi, Melis Taner, Maximilian Hartmuth, Nebahat Avcıoğlu, Saleem al-Bahloly, Itamar Taxel et al., Mehran and Moujan Matin, and Lynda S. Mulvin.
Editor: Kishwar Rizvi
Affect, Emotion and Subjectivity in Early Modern Muslim Empires presents new approaches to Ottoman Safavid and Mughal art and culture. Taking artistic agency as a starting point, the authors consider the rise in status of architects, the self-fashioning of artists, the development of public spaces, as well as new literary genres that focus on the individual subject and his or her place in the world. They consider the issue of affect as performative and responsive to certain emotions and actions, thus allowing insights into the motivations behind the making and, in some cases, the destruction of works of art. The interconnected histories of Iran,Turkey and India thus highlight the urban and intellectual changes that defined the early modern period.

Contributors are: Sussan Babaie, Chanchal Dadlani, Jamal Elias, Emine Fetvaci, Christiane Gruber, Sylvia Hougteling, Kishwar Rizvi, Sunil Sharma, and Marianna Shreve Simpson.
Shahnama Studies III focuses on the hugely successful afterlife of the Shahnama or Book of Kings, completed by the poet Firdausi around 1010 AD. This long epic grew out to be an icon of Persian culture and served as a source of inspiration for art and literature, leaving its traces in manifold ways. The contributors to this volume each treat an aspect of the rich legacy of the Shahnama and offer new insights in Shahnama manuscript studies, the illustration of the Shahnama, the phenomenon of later epics, and the Shahnama in later texts and contexts.
Muqarnas 34 features articles ranging from monumental architecture in seventh-century Jerusalem to modern Arab painting in Syria. It includes an archaeological study of the Agdal in Marrakesh, one of the few surviving medieval Islamic estates; as well as a fresh assessment of Ilkhanid polychrome stucco decoration in the Pir-i Bakran mausoleum. The volume contains several articles on interactions between Islamic and Christian societies as attested in architectural landscapes from the early modern period. One piece interprets an inscribed Renaissance gate at a Crimean palace; another provides a fascinating micro-history of Venetian merchants in Aleppo, who lived in commercial khans. Other highlights include an article exploring the impact of Shirazi poets and their tombs on the famous traveler, Pietro della Valle; and an investigation of the forgotten Galata New Mosque in Istanbul, built by the queen mother in 1698 to replace a prominent Catholic convent church following Ottoman military defeats.

The Notes and Sources section introduces several new texts, including a Neo-Latin poem that challenges recent modifications to the Alhambra’s iconic Fountain of Lions, and a hitherto undeciphered Persian chronogram poem, which sheds valuable light on the production sites of luster-painted ceramics in the Safavid period. Also featured is a sixteenth-century Arabic chronicle describing Ottoman construction projects in Mecca within the context of diplomatic relations between Istanbul and Gujarat.

The Reflexive Imagery of Love in Artistic Theory and Practice, 1500-1700
Ut pictura amor: The Reflexive Imagery of Love in Artistic Theory and Practice, 1500-1700 examines the related themes of lovemaking and image-making in the visual arts of Europe, China, Japan, and Persia. The term ‘reflexive’ is here used to refer to images that invite reflection not only on their form, function, and meaning, but also on their genesis and mode of production. Early modern artists often fashioned reflexive images and effigies of this kind, that appraise love by exploring the lineaments of the pictorial or sculptural image, and complementarily, appraise the pictorial or sculptural image by exploring the nature of love. Hence the book’s epigraph— ut pictura amor—‘as is a picture, so is love’.
A Persian Compendium on Similar and Complementary Interlocking Figures. A Volume Commemorating Alpay Özdural
This collective study focuses on a unique anonymous medieval document on ornamental geometry featuring geometrical constructions and textual instructions in Persian. Selections from the unpublished work of Alpay Özdural (d. 2003) on this subject have been updated with original contributions by Jan P. Hogendijk, Elaheh Kheirandish, Gülru Necipoğlu, and Wheeler M. Thackston. The chapters interpreting this fascinating document are followed, for the first time, by a facsimile, transcription, and translation, as well as drawings of incised construction lines invisible in the photographed facsimile.

This publication intersects with the current interest in Islamic geometrical patterning as an inspiration for tessellation and parametrically derived forms in contemporary architecture and the arts. It aims to make this celebrated source more accessible, given its multifaceted relevance to historians of art, architecture, and science, as well as mathematicians, physicists, artists, and architects.

For those who wish to obtain a copy of the full, unedited original book manuscript of Alpay Özdural, where he discusses the mathematical properties of all geometrical constructions in the Anonymous Compendium as well as the step-by-step method for drawing each one, his work is available online at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.5255416


Institutionalization and Legitimatization of Guohua in Republican Shanghai
Author: Pedith Pui Chan
The Making of A Modern Art World explores the artistic institutions and discursive practices prevailing in Republican Shanghai, aiming to reconstruct the operational logic and the stratified hierarchy of Shanghai’s art world. Using guohua as the point of entry, this book interrogates the discourse both of guohua itself, and the wider discourse of Chinese modernism in the visual arts. In the light of the sociological definition of ‘art world’, this book contextualizes guohua through focusing on the modes of production and consumption of painting in Shanghai, examining newly adopted modern artistic practices, namely, art associations, periodicals, art colleges, exhibitions, and the art market.