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Distributed for Scheidegger & Speiss

The Fascination of Persia

The Persian-European Dialogue in Seventeenth-Century Art and Contemporary Art of Teheran

Distributed for Scheidegger & Speiss

The Fascination of Persia

The Persian-European Dialogue in Seventeenth-Century Art and Contemporary Art of Teheran

In the early seventeenth century, Persia was a desirable destination for European travelers and tradesmen, who were received in its magnificent capital Isfahan bearing works of art and left with priceless handcrafted rugs and the finest silks. This exchange of luxury goods left a mark on artistic production in both countries throughout the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries and is a testament to a long friendship whose history has been overshadowed in recent years by political disputes in the region.
           
The Fascination of Persia documents this fruitful artistic exchange, thus offering a fresh view of the two traditions in juxtaposition. Modern Teheran remains a vibrant and exciting venue for contemporary art today, and the book also foregrounds works—some previously unpublished—by seven of the city’s most important contemporary artists to show that, despite difficult circumstances, the dialogue with the global art world continues.
           
Published to accompany an exhibition at the Museum Rietberg in Zürich and including essays by leading art historians, The Fascination of Persia investigates a little-remembered period of exchange between East and West.

320 pages | 302 color plates, 10 halftones | 9 1/2 x 13 | © 2013

Art: Middle Eastern, African, and Asian Art


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Reviews

"The focus on Iran in an exhibition that is not only cross-cultural, but which also openly recognizes the influence of the past on the present is a welcome endeavour in the curation of Middle Eastern art. Bypassing tired narratives of religious contrasts and strained politics, it presents a fresh interpretation of a mutual relationship and fascination between two worlds often discussed, but rarely understood and appreciated."

Reorient, on the accompanying exhibition at the Museum Reitberg

Table of Contents

Forewords

Iran’s Relations with Europe in the Safavid Period: Diplomats, Missionaries, Merchants, and Travel

RUDOLPH P. MATTHEE

The Work of European Cartographers in Mapping Persia or Iran in the Seventeenth Century and Earlier

CYRUS ALA’I

Safavid Dress and Europe

JENNIFER M. SCARCE

The Sherleys and the Shah: Persia as the Stakes in a Rogue’s Gambit

GARY SCHWARTZ

Lost in Translation: Exoticism in Early Modern Holland

CLAUDIA SWAN

Persian Art and the Crafting of Polish Identity

PAULINA BANAS

Persian and Polish Sashes: Symbols of National Identity and Luxury Textiles in an International Market

BIRGITT BORKOPP-RESTLE

Between Court and Company: Dutch Artists in Persia

GARY SCHWARTZ

European Influence on Seventeenth-Century Persian Painting: Of Handsome Europeans, Naked Ladies, and Parisian Timepieces

AXEL LANGER

 “Cloath’d in Several Modes”: Oil-on-Canvas Painting and the Iconography of Human Variety in Early Modern Iran

MICHAEL CHAGNON

I Can’t Get No Sleep: Contemporary Art in Tehran

SUSANN WINTSCH

Appendix I and II

Bibliography

Photo Credits

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