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Architecture in medieval Persian painting: Fact or Fantasy?


Source: Iran Heritage Foundation

Event: Lecture by Professor Robert Hillenbrand
Organised by:
Iran Heritage Foundation
Date: Wednesday 14th February 2018 at 18.30
Venue: Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP

Castle of Khwarnaq. Nizami, Khamsa, 1431 (ST PETERSBURG)


How did Persian painters tackle both the depiction of architecture and the actual process of construction? Several scholars have studied the first topic, but very few have investigated the second. In neither case is the term "realism" appropriate, but the conventions for depicting architecture in Persian painting are a fascinating study in themselves, while close analysis of three later medieval paintings of workmen on building sites reveals many surprises. The lecture will show how comfortably Persian painters operated within what to a Western eye might seem like constricting conventions. ​


Professor Robert Hillenbrand was educated at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford and is Professor of Art History at the University of St Andrews, having previously spent most of his career teaching at the University of Edinburgh, where he is an Honorary Professorial Fellow. His scholarly interests focus on Islamic architecture, painting and iconography, with particular reference to Iran and early Islamic Syria. His nine books include Imperial Images in Persian Painting; Islamic Art and Architecture; The Architecture of Ottoman Jerusalem: An Introduction; Studies in the Islamic Arts of the Book; Studies in Islamic Architecture (2 vols.), and the prize-winning Islamic Architecture: Form, Function and Meaning. In addition, he has co-authored, co-edited or edited twelve books. He has also published some 170 articles on aspects of Islamic art and architecture. He has been Slade Professor of Art at Cambridge and is also a Fellow of the British Academy.

Tickets & Info:
Tickets: £10 book now
Free for registered Friends of IHF

If you would prefer to pay by cheque, please make it payable to 'IHF' and send this along with your contact details to:
IHF, 63 New Cavendish Street, London, W1G 7LP

The event will start promptly at 18.30 so please ensure you arrive on tim

For any inquiries please contact:
Tel: 020 3651 2121


The Iran Heritage Foundation is a non-political UK registered charity with the mission to promote and preserve the history, languages and cultures of Iran and the Persianate world. The objectives of the Foundation are achieved by organising and supporting activities of cultural or scholarly merit. IHF programmes include sponsoring teaching posts and fellowships at universities and museums, giving grants for academic research and cultural activities, and organising regular events and conferences, both in the United Kingdom and abroad.

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