The Visualization of Shaykh Safi al-Din Ishaq Ardabil: A Unique Illustrated Copy of the Safvat al-Safa at the Aga Khan Museum Collection and Its Illustrations

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Erkmen A.

IRANIAN STUDIES, vol.50, no.1, pp.45-77, 2017 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 50 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00210862.2015.1061341
  • Journal Name: IRANIAN STUDIES
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.45-77
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper is a monographic study of the illustrated copy of Safvat al-Safa, the life of Shaykh Safi al-Din, by Ismail bin Bazzaz, completed in Shaban 990/September 1582 in Shiraz. It begins by giving information on the original text and its sources; then examines the unique illustrated copy. The features of the illustrated Safvat al-Safa are discussed while each of the fourteen images are explored in terms of the text-image relationship. The themes are also briefly analyzed according to a stylistic and iconographical approach in order to further exhibit the manuscript's uniqueness. The article concludes by emphasizing the significance of this copy at the Aga Khan Museum collection regarding its general condition, the illustration cycle and its records.