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The Diez Albums of the Berlin State Library

Current State of Research and New Perspectives: an international symposium

June 2, 2013 – June 5, 2013
To attend to the symposium, register with the secretary of the Oriental Department, Mrs. Muenchow: Attendance is free.

Berlin State Library, Potsdamer Straße 33, 10785 Berlin

The Prussian ambassador to Constantinople Heinrich Friedrich von Diez’s collection of 450 or so miniatures, sketches, stencils and calligraphy were bequeathed to the Royal Library in Berlin as early as 1817, but have only recently come to the attention of scholars. Most date from the Ilkhanid and Timurid period in 14th and 15th century Iran, and are related to objects in the Topkapı Palace Library. The symposium coincides with the opening of an exhibition in the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin.

Julian Raby is giving the key lecture on Contents and Contexts – Re-viewing the Diez Albums.

The other speakers are Ladan Akbarnia on The ‘Cathayan’ aesthetic in Diez Album drawings; Zeynep Çelik Atbaş on the albums of calligraphy and painting in the Topkapı Palace Library; Serpil Bağçı on the Ottoman Paintings collected by Diez; Barbara Brend on the depiction of horses in the Diez Albums.

Massumeh Farhad on the Divan of Sultan Ahmad Jalayir and the Diez and Istanbul Albums; Saghi Gazerani on scenes from the Sistani Cycle of Epics and popular medieval literature; Christiane Gruber on Ilkhanid and Timurid drawings of religious themes in the Diez Albums; Claus-Peter Haase on later Mongol and early Timurid representations of rulers in the Diez Albums reflecting changes of ceremonial and style.

Robert Hillenbrand on the Great Mongol Shahnama; Yuka Kadoi on the Mongols enthroned; Charles Melville on the illustration of history in the Diez albums; Gulru Necipoğlu-Kafadar on the ‘Frankish Manner’ in the Topkapı Palace and Diez Albums; Yves Porter on models, sketches and pounced drawings: first steps to creation; Christoph Rauch (Berlin) on collecting and studying Oriental manuscripts in the period of Late Enlightenment; Simon Rettig on the calligrapher, the collector, and the album – toward a Reassessment of the Calligraphies and Inscriptions in the Diez Albums;

David Roxburgh on reminiscences of Asia – Diez’s Albums from cover to cover; Karin Rührdanz on illustrated love letters in the Diez Albums; Klaas Ruitenbeek on Chinese Inspiration: The Chinese Motifs in the Diez Album, Their Sources, Reception and Derivatives; Eleanor Sims on ‘The Problem of the Diez Albums’; Zeren Tanındı on repetitions of images in the Topkapı Saray Albums: H.2153, H.2160 and H.2152; Lale Uluç on the perusal of the Topkapı Albums in the 18th century;

Ching-ling Wang (Berlin/Florenz) on Iconographic Turn – On Chinese Buddhist and Daoist Iconography in the Diez Albums; Friederike Weis and Gerhard Wolf on the migration of an antique allegory between East and West – A Persian drawing after the Tazza Farnese with an attribution to Mohammad-e Khayyâm.

The symposium is supported by Fritz Thyssen-Stiftung.

Telephone: +49 (0)30 266 431444
Website: Go to website ......
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