Studies in Art

Please note: this event has now passed

Shah ‘Abbas (1587–1629) was the most distinguished of the Safavid shahs, who ruled Iran from 1501 to 1722, establishing an empire that stretched far beyond Iran’s borders. Making Isfahan his new capital, Shah ‘Abbas embarked on a great architectural programme and was to become one of the great patrons of the arts.

This course will look at the rise of the Safavid dynasty and the establishment of a Shi’ite state, the power struggles with the Ottoman Turks, the magnificent architecture of Isfahan, the famous royal painting workshops and the taste for luxury items including elaborate metalwork, superb carpets and ravishing silks, which were in demand across the world.


Tuesday 24 February 2009

10.30am
Safavid Iran: A New Political and Religious Dispensation
Edmund Herzig, Soudavar Professor of Persian Studies, University of Oxford

12.00noon
Safavid Architecture and the City of Isfahan
Dr Barbara Brend

1.00pm
Lunch

2.00pm
Visit to the Jameel Gallery at the Victoria & Albert Museum with Tim Stanley, Senior Curator, Middle Eastern Collection


Tuesday 3 March 2009

10.30am
How to Dress Well in Isfahan – the Clothes and Textiles of Safavid Iran
Jennifer Scarce, Honorary Lecturer, Middle Eastern Cultures, Faculty of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee

12.00noon
In the Footsteps of Shah ‘Abbas: The Thousand Kilometer Pilgrimage to Mashhad
Dr. Caroline Mawer, Birkbeck College

1.00pm
Lunch

2.00pm
Tabriz, Qazvin, and Isfahan; the Schools of Royal Safavid Painting
Dr. Sheila Canby, Curator of Islamic Arts and Antiquities, British Museum and Curator of the exhibition ‘ Shah ‘Abbas: The Remaking of Iran’


Tuesday 10 March 2009

10.30am
Safavid Metalwork: Poetry and Piety
Rachel Ward

12.00noon
Iranian Artists at the Mughal Court
Susan Stronge, Senior Curator, Asian Department, Victoria & Albert Museum

1.00pm
Lunch

2.00pm
Religious Thought during the Reign of Shah ‘Abbas the Great of Iran
Robert Gleave, Professor of Arabic Studies, University of Exeter

3.30pm
Visit to the exhibition “Shah ‘Abbas: The Remaking of Iran” at the British Museum


Tuesday 17 March 2009

10.30am
Safavid Metalwork: Gold and Gems
Rachel Ward

12.00noon
The Armenians, China and the Safavids
Professor John Carswell, Research Associate at SOAS, University of London

1.00pm
Lunch

2.00pm
The Great Paradise Park Carpets and the Attribution of Related Safavid Carpets
Michael Franses, Chairman of Hali