book of omens paintingI just love this piece, a detail from “The Angel of Death Descends on Shaddad Ibn Ad” from the Falnama. It is watercolor and gold on paper, and is part of a show, titled “Falnama:The Book of Omens” at the Arthur M Sackler Gallery in Washington , Dc. Here are the details of the show, and here is a link to the website…lbook of omens

 

 

October 24, 2009–January 24, 2010

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Whether by consulting the position of the planets, casting horoscopes, or interpreting dreams, the art of divination was widely practiced throughout the Islamic world. The most splendid tools ever devised to foretell the future were illustrated texts known as the Falnama (Book of omens). Notable for their monumental size, brilliantly painted compositions, and unusual subject matter, the manuscripts, created in Safavid Iran and Ottoman Turkey in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, are the center piece of Falnama: The Book of Omens. The first exhibition devoted to these extraordinary manuscripts, Falnama: The Book of Omens sheds new light on their artistic, cultural, and religious significance. The exhibition comprises more than sixty works of art from international public and private collections. Whether by consulting the position of the planets, casting horoscopes, or interpreting dreams, the art of divination was widely practiced throughout the Islamic world. The most splendid tools ever devised to foretell the future were illustrated texts known as the Falnama (Book of omens). Notable for their monumental size, brilliantly painted compositions, and unusual subject matter, the manuscripts, created in Safavid Iran and Ottoman Turkey in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, are the center piece of Falnama: The Book of Omens. The first exhibition devoted to these extraordinary manuscripts, Falnama: The Book of Omens sheds new light on their artistic, cultural, and religious significance. The exhibition comprises more than sixty works of art from international public and private collections and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.

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