Image of The simurgh carries Zal to her nest, from the Book of Kings (Shahnama) by Firdausi, 1590-1600 Qazvin, CBL Per 277.12

Friends Event

Friends Talk: Dr. Moya Carey- Moving to Isfahan: Paintings from the Book of Kings (Shahnama) of Shah `Abbas

Our current exhibition, Gift of a Lifetime, includes two folios from a late sixteenth-century copy of Firdausi’s epic masterpiece, associated with the early reign of Shah `Abbas I in Safavid Iran (Chester Beatty Per 277). Particularly well-known, the dramatic painting of the magical simurgh rescuing the infant Zal is a striking composition of colour and line, set in a wild landscape. The second painting is much more sedate, set in an exquisite palace, where a begrudging father (and his sorrowful wife) see their three beautiful daughters betrothed to three young princes from Iran. This lecture will discuss all sixteen paintings in this manuscript, which was produced just before the Safavid Shah `Abbas moved his dynastic capital to the city of Isfahan in 1598, with dramatic results for the world’s silk trade. In 1675, an important Isfahani court painter added new paintings as well as retouches to this manuscript, thus adapting it to modern tastes

Cost: €5

Open today 12:00pm - 5:30pm

Monday to Friday 9:45am - 5:30pm
Wednesday 9:45am - 8:00pm
Saturday 9:45am - 5:30pm
Sunday 12:00pm - 5:30pm

Closed Mondays: Nov - Feb
Closed 1 Jan; Good Friday; 24-26 Dec

Admission is Free
No booking required
Suggested donation €5


Chester Beatty
Dublin Castle
Dublin 2
D02 AD92