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The Patronage of the Vizier Mirza Salman

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While previously published manuscripts hinted at Mirza Salman's interest in such works, two recently discovered manuscripts better show the full extent of the vizier's patronage. They reveal how his early association with Sultan Ibrahim Mirza had already induced him to emulate his prince in commissioning illustrated manuscripts, albeit on a more modest scale—and how he quickly decided to step into the shoes of Ibrahim Mirza and act as a true mirza, as soon as he established his supremacy in the chaotic political arena following Shah Ismaʿil II’s death. He thus commissioned artists from the late prince's library-atelier to prepare a series of manuscripts, the most important of which was a copy of the Būstān in which every illustration reflected a significant episode in the vizier's rapid rise to power. In so doing, he found a suitable accomplice in the person of the artist Muhammadi, who could dazzle him not only with his paintings but with his witty selection of texts and creative imagination for producing multilayered illustrations.


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