The Arts of the Persian Safavids with Tiago Neiva

The Arts of the Persian Safavids with Tiago Neiva


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Between the fourteenth and nineteenth centuries, three Islamic dynasties–the Ottomans, the Safavids, and the Mughals–established themselves in three particular areas of Asia. Bordering each other, their domains covered, at their peak, a continuous territory ranging from Morocco to South India. These included geographies and cultures such as the Balkans, Maghreb, the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. They became the origin of three future modern nations: Turkey, Iran, and India.

Known as the three Islamic Gunpowder Empires, due to the profuse (and very innovative) strategic use of firearms on the battlefield, their political, economic, and military relevance placed them at the level of the most powerful Western nations. From the perspective of Islamic history, they became part of the second political and cultural flowering of the Islamic world, after the hegemony (and subsequent decay) of the Islamic Golden Age, in the medieval period.

Led by an expert on Islamic architecture and art history, Tiago Miranda Neiva, this seminar will explore the major achievements of Safavid architecture, highlighting the massive complex of the Maiden of Isfahan, the Shah Mosque, and the Safavid Garden Palaces. We will also explore the decorative arts, such as ceramics, calligraphy, textiles and carpets, and the Safavid painting school.

Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased knowledge of the early modern Islamic Art, in particular, the cultural, architectural, and artistic achievements of the Persian Safavid Empire. In a parallel session, there will be a seminar exploring their political, religious, economic, and social dimensions.

This conversation is part of a six-part series on the Gunpowder Empires with Tiago Miranda Neiva. Each session is designed as a stand-alone seminar as well as part of a six-part series.

Tiago Miranda Neiva was born and raised in Lisbon. For several years he was Professor of Arts and Art History, having a Master's degree in Teaching of Visual Arts. He is currently working towards a PhD focused on the Art and Architecture of al-Andalus: the confluence between the Arab, Jewish and Christian medieval world. In recent years he has been working as a tour guide in his hometown, seeking to show and reveal its most intimate secrets through an authentic and passionate local vision.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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