‘Shahnama’: The Making of the Medieval Persian Book of Kings

Exploring its use (and misuse) over the centuries as political propaganda, loot, and even fodder in the international art market. Introduction Illustrated manuscripts are one of the glories of Persian art, especially those made during the heyday of production from the fourteenth century to the sixteenth century. The most popular text was the Shahnama, or[…]

China’s Rendition of the Trojan War in the Abduction of Helen Tapestry

This tapestry, made in China to be sold in Portugal, is an example of a transcultural object, or one entangled with multiple cultures. The Story of Troy Twisting, overlapping warriors fill the foreground of a massive 12 x 16 foot tapestry. It can be difficult to tell where one person begins and another ends, making the[…]

‘Helen’: A Twist on the Trojan War from Euripides

His play replaces Helen in Troy with a decoy while the real Helen awaits the end of the Trojan War in Egypt. Introduction Helen is a Greek tragedy by Euripides (c. 484-407 BCE). It is usually thought to have first been performed at the Great Dionysia of 412 BCE and was part of the trilogy[…]