Under the Safavids, Turkish was the language of the armies, Persian was the language of administration and culture and Arabic was the language or religion and law. The early 17th century in Persia was a golden age of Islamic art and architecture—especially in Isfahan. Persian artists created great miniature painting, carpets, tapestries, metal work. Great palaces and gardens were built in Isfahan. “The Hall of Forty Columns” was famous for its glazed tiles. Great Safavid painters Bihzad (d. 1535) and Riza-i Abbari (d 1635) produced surrealist miniatures. Isfahan became one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Suzan Yalman of New York University wrote: “In the arts, manuscript illustration was prominent in royal patronage. Ismacil's son, Tahmasp (r. 1524–76), who had been trained in painting at an early age, was an active patron of the arts of the book. Artists from the Qara Quyunlu, Aq Quyunlu, and Timurid court studios were brought together and their work helped form a new Safavid style of painting. One of the most renowned manuscripts from the period is a now-dispersed copy of the Shahnama epic (1970.301.2). Drawing inspiration from designs generated in the royal painting workshop, textiles and carpets were manufactured of luxury materials as furnishings for the court. In architecture, the Safavids commissioned mosques, mausolea, and palace complexes, restored major shrines, and contributed to sites of veneration and pilgrimage. Though Shah Ismacil is known to have built throughout the empire, only modest buildings survive from his reign. Text references and scattered remains indicate that Shah Tahmasp also sponsored numerous building projects, particularly at Qazvin, his capital after 1555, but little survives. [Source: Suzan Yalman, New York University, The Metropolitan Museum of Art \^/]

“The most distinguished of Safavid rulers and the greatest patron of the arts was Shah Abbas (r. 1587–1629). In 1597–98, Shah Abbas transferred his capital to Isfahan, in southern Iran, where he built a new city alongside the old one. The centerpiece of his capital was the new Maidan-i Shah (Royal Square), which was conceived and constructed initially for state ceremonies and sports. Over the next several decades, major monuments would be erected on three sides of the Royal Square by Abbas and his successors. Shah Abbas encouraged trade with Europe, silk being Iran's main export. Carpets and textiles were also important export items, and these were produced in workshops set up under state patronage in Isfahan and other cities. The art of painting continued to flourish, with single-page paintings and drawings becoming more popular than manuscript illustration. Artistic and architectural developments under Shah Abbas continued into the early seventeenth century.” \^/

Later Safavid Culture and Art

Marika Sardar of New York University wrote: Among the artists who worked under under Shah Abbas “was Riza Abbasi (ca. 1565–1635), son of the court painter Ali Asghar and pupil of the well-known Mucin. Although he was heir to a very traditional form of painting, Riza introduced a new set of subjects to the Persian oeuvre (50.164). Semi-nude women, languid youths, and lovers soon came to replace the heroes of the Shahnama and the Khamsa in many an artist's repertoire. These fashionable figures were also copied in textiles, figural tile panels, and other media. It is not, however, simply the subject matter of his paintings, but Riza's gift for capturing the inner emotions of his sitter and his famed calligraphic line that have earned him admiration. His work set the tone for much of the seventeenth century, as his students used it as a springboard for developing their own styles (1974.290.43). [Source: Sardar, Marika. Metropolitan Museum of Art \^/]

“The role of Iran as a major participant in a larger economy created by the European commercial expansion of the sixteenth century was another influence in the arts of this era. The production of artistic goods became hugely profitable and Abbas had a large hand in encouraging the growth of local crafts. In pottery, imitations of ceramics from Iznik in Turkey and of blue-and-white ware from China were especially popular, and the native technique of lusterware was revived (30.95.158). Carpet weaving was transformed from a craft practiced by nomads and peasants into a national industry, with designs drafted by professional artists in the court workshops (50.190.1). Many Persian carpets can be found in collections throughout Europe as they became status symbols. Fabrics were another major industry; travelers Jean Chardin and Jean-Baptiste Tavernier both described silk-weaving factories in the cities of Yazd and Kashan, and the production of velvet increased as it became highly fashionable (59.58).\^/

“In the seventeenth century, adventurous traders and ambassadors sent by foreign kings came to Iran bearing works of art as presents to Persian high officials. The many prints, illustrated books, and oil paintings they brought provided new inspiration for artists in Iran. In some instances, these works were copied directly, such as lovers from a Dutch print that appear as a fresco, or a biblical scene reworked as a bookbinding (34.23). In other cases, the European works provided new technical devices, which local artists combined with elements of traditional Persian painting. Modeling, foreshortening, spatial recession, and the medium of oil painting were all adopted by Persian artists but were employed in depictions of familiar subjects or in combination with traditional conventions. \^/

“Another effect of the economic boom was the creation of a new class of patrons. The urban rich, Armenian merchants, foreign travelers, and artists interested in each other's works could now all afford to purchase art. As a result, single-page paintings, less costly than fully illustrated manuscripts, became popular. In addition, artists were no longer dependent on the royal workshop for employment. \^/

“After Abbas I, the Safavids continued as patrons, but on a reduced scale. Abbas II (r. 1642–66) added the Chihil Sutun, a pavilion with large-scale wall paintings of historical and literary subjects, to the royal complex in Isfahan. Sulayman (r. 1666—94) commissioned two further palaces, the Hasht Bihisht and the Talar-i Ashraf. The great days of Safavid art were over, however, and Iran was heading in new directions.”

Books: Canby, Sheila R. Persian Painting. London: British Museum Press, 1993; Canby, Sheila R., ed. Safavid Art and Architecture. London: British Museum Press, 2002; Diba, Layla S., ed. Royal Persian Paintings: The Qajar Epoch, 1785–1925. Exhibition catalogue.. Brooklyn: Brooklyn Museum of Art, 1998; Dickson, Martin Bernard, and Stuart Cary Welch The Houghton Shahnama. 2 vols. . Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 198.

Shah Abbas and the Arts of Isfahan

Suzan Yalman of New York University wrote: “In 1597–98, Isfahan became the new capital of Iran when Shah Abbas I (r. 1587–1629) moved the Safavid government there as part of his larger plan to lift the country from the slump into which it had fallen. In order to revive the national economy, Abbas courted foreign traders and made commercial agreements with several European nations. He increased carpet and textile production in state workshops and settled 300 Chinese potters and their families in Iran to capitalize on the vogue for Chinese ceramics. He then relocated the Armenians from the city of Julfa, who controlled much of the Persian end of a bustling international silk trade, to a neighborhood in Isfahan called New Julfa and gave them the monopoly on silk exports. Abbas also created a new standing army which halted the encroachments of the Mughals and the Ottomans and restabilized the country's territories. [Source: Suzan Yalman, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, Metropolitan Museum of Art]

“Abbas reinforced the image of the Safavid polity with the architecture of his new capital. From the old Seljuk city center he built a two-kilometer-long bazaar to a new town square called the Maidan-i Shah, located to the south near the Zaianda River. Four commanding structures were ranged on the sides of this square: an entrance to the bazaar painted with murals depicting Abbas' victories over the Uzbeks on the north, the Shah Mosque (1611–66) on the south, the Mosque of Shaykh Lutfallah (1603–19) on the east, and the Ali Qapu, a two-story audience hall, on the west. The four bases of the Safavid state—religion, trade, military, and the royal family itself—were thus united in one monumental visual statement.\^/

“Jean Chardin, a French jeweler who traveled throughout Iran in 1664–70 and again in 1671–77, exclaimed that Isfahan was "the greatest and most beautiful town in the whole Orient." He described the city's population as a mix of Christians, Jews, fire-worshippers, Muslims, and merchants from all over the world. He counted 162 mosques, 48 colleges, 1,802 caravanserais, 273 baths, and 12 cemeteries, indicating Abbas' extensive architectural work in the city. Among the most scenic quarters was the area behind the Ali Qapu, where a series of gardens extended to the Chahar Bagh, a long boulevard lined with parks, the residences of nobles, and the palaces of the royal family. Tile panels and frescoes from the pavilions of the Chahar Bagh in the Museum's collection are examples of the lavish decoration of these structures. \^/

“Shah Abbas was also an active patron of painting and book production. His commission of a Shahnama reestablished the royal painting atelier that had shrunk during the reigns of his two predecessors. He also had the fifteenth-century Timurid manuscript Mantiq al-tair (The Language of the Birds) refurbished; four paintings were added and the manuscript presented to the shrine at Ardabil in 1609. His reign witnessed the careers of such artists as Aqa Riza, Sadiqi, Ali Riza Tabrizi, and Mir Imad. \^/

“After Abbas' death in 1629, both the Safavid state and its capital suffered. His successors were ill-prepared to rule and cities such as Shiraz rose to prominence as regional rulers became more powerful. The glory days of Isfahan came to an end in 1722 when the city was besieged by one of the Afghan tribes then in rebellion against the Safavids, and the dynasty, for all intents and purposes, ceased to rule.” \^/

Books: Holod, Renata, ed. Studies on Isfahan. Chestnut Hill, Mass.: Society for Iranian Studies, 1974. Welch, Anthony. Shah Abbas & the Arts of Isfahan. Exhibition catalogue. New York: Asia Society.

Safavid Silk Textiles

Nazanin Hedayat Munroe of the Metropolitan Museum of Art wrote: “Safavid textiles are praised as the pinnacle of Iranian loom weaving. When the Safavids came to power at the turn of the sixteenth century, the Iranian textile industry was already well developed in the production and sale of woven silk textiles and rugs as well as raw silk for export. The textile industry consisted of urban workshops producing textiles independently, provincial centers focusing on rug weaving, and small farms cultivating silk in the Caspian region. As the Safavids set up their capital cities of Tabriz, Qazvin, and finally Isfahan, the textile industry became centralized and was swiftly incorporated into the national economy, creating an expansive revenue stream. [Source: Nazanin Hedayat Munroe, Department of Islamic Art, , Metropolitan Museum of Art \^/]

“Under the reign of Shah Tahmasp (1524–76), royal workshops were established primarily to service the court, while raw silk continued to be produced and sold to the state by independent producers from northern provinces such as Gilan. In the seventeenth century, Shah Abbas I (r. 1587–1629) centralized the Iranian economy by developing a state monopoly over the silk trade, controlling production in the Caspian provinces, where the bulk of the raw material was produced. In addition, the state regained control of ports in the Persian Gulf from Portuguese occupation, facilitating maritime trade and rerouting silk trade away from areas under Ottoman jurisdiction. When the Safavid capital was established in Isfahan in 1598, Armenian textile workers were relocated to the neighborhood of New Julfa, in close proximity to Shah Abbas' palatial complex. This local textile industry included dyers, weavers, and embroiderers producing luxury textiles mainly for export under the supervision of the state. Private workshops in urban centers such as Yazd and Kashan continued to produce textiles for sale within and beyond Iranian borders, and are especially known for velvet and lampas-woven luxury silks.\^/

“Figural designs relied heavily on manuscript illustration for composition and subject matter. Popular scenes feature idealized pastimes such as hunting, falconry, or poetry reading in garden settings (08.109.3), a trend that mirrors contemporary paintings. Some of the finest examples of figural silks produced during the reign of Shah Abbas feature characters from popular literature such as the lovers Khusrau and Shirin (1978.60) and Layla and Majnun (46.156.7) from Nizami's Khamsa, or battle scenes referencing the herculean Rustam in Firdausi's Shahnama. \^/

“These legendary characters are often represented on textiles in contemporary Safavid dress, with men sporting turbans wound around a central oblong baton (taj haydari) (52.20.11). This unique headdress represented the Shici ideology of the Safavid dynasty, with the twelve folds of the turban symbolizing the imams in Twelver Shiism. Women are depicted wearing a small square kerchief (chahar-qad) at the crown of the head tied over longer flowing headscarves. Figures on textiles made from the early seventeenth century onward reflect the changing fashions, as the taj haydari was replaced by a wide, elliptical turban. Although it was not customary before the Safavid era for artists to sign their work, textiles after 1600 occasionally incorporate subtle signatures, such as that of Ghiyath al-Din cAli (52.20.13), a prominent designer who owned and operated a private workshop in Yazd. Ghiyath was best known for his small-scale figural and floral designs, and enjoyed a privileged relationship with the court of Shah Abbas. \^/

“In addition to figural silks, popular designs included stylized flowers with delicate drawings of deer, rabbits, and birds, and particularly the rose-and-nightingale (gul-o-bul-bul) motif (49.32.99). These designs range from interlocking overall patterns to single repeating motifs arranged in rows (33.80.18), and their depiction in album pages reflects their popularity among the Iranian gentry as well as European aristocrats. The exceptional quality of woven textiles during this era resides in the designs. Textiles were executed as continuous repeat patterns by master designers (nakhshband), with the ultimate goal of obscuring the edges of the repeat block. Designers were experts in calculating the mathematical sequence determining which warp threads would appear on the surface of the cloth, assisted by a helper boy, as the master weaver executed the process on the loom. \^/

“Textiles on the loom are produced by the intersection of warp threads, held taut, and weft threads, which are interwoven to create different patterns on the surface of the cloth. Complex designs were created using the lampas technique, a compound structure that allowed for figural and floral designs to be produced in fluid lines with a range of delicate colors. Lampas-woven textiles were used in garments and furnishings (1972.189). \^/

“Compound weave structures incorporating gold or silver strips or metal-wrapped threads floating on the face of the cloth (26.231.2), referred to as "brocades," added a sumptuous quality to the sophisticated palette of pistachio green, salmon pink, alizarin, cream, and ochre. Silk velvets (12.72.5) were produced either as continuous pile, creating a supple and luxurious cloth, or manipulated by selectively weaving areas with pile and leaving other areas as flat weaves, creating a "voided" effect (52.20.13). \^/

“After the death of Shah Abbas in 1629, the Safavid dynasty began to lose central power and regional governance relegated the monarch to the position of a figurehead. Textile production in court-sponsored workshops declined, while the private sector of the textile industry regained independence, producing silks for the expanding international demand. From the last quarter of the seventeenth century until the dynasty's end following the Afghan invasion in 1722, there was a marked change in the textiles produced as Iranian weavers stepped down their aesthetic and working methods to suit the tastes and economy of the declining regime.” \^/

Books: Baker, Patricia L. “Safavid Splendor.” In Islamic Textiles. London: British Museum Press, 1995.

Bier, Carol, ed. Woven from the Soul, Spun from the Heart: Textile Arts of Safavid and Qajar Iran, 16th–:19th Centuries. Exhibition catalogue.. Washington, D.C.: Textile Museum, 1987.Floor, Willem The Persian Textile Industry in Historical Perspective, 1500–1925. Paris: Harmattan, 1999. McCabe, Ina Baghdiantz The Shah’s Silk for Europe’s Silver: The Eurasian Trade of the Julfa Armenians in Safavid Iran and India (1530–1750). Atlanta: Scholar’s Press, 1999.Thompson, Jon, Daniel Shaffer, and Pirjetta Mildh, eds. Carpets and Textiles in the Iranian World 1400–¡700. Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2010.

Fashion in Safavid Iran

Nazanin Hedayat Munroe of the Metropolitan Museum of Art wrote: “Carrying a range of political and literary messages, fashions from Safavid Iran (1501–1722) were a versatile medium for self-expression. Safavid dress is characterized by innovative color combinations, distinctive figural motifs on fabrics, and rich texture due to the extensive use of gold- and silver-wrapped threads. The resulting overall ensemble of garments created an opulent and elegant look for both men and women, as depicted in paintings and tilework and in illustrated travelogues by European visitors to Iran. [Source:Nazanin Hedayat Munroe, Department of Islamic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art \^/]

“The political ideology of the Safavids was manifested in the headgear of its rulers. The dynasty’s founder, Shah Isma‘il, and his supporters traced their lineage to Shaikh Safi of Ardabil, a Sufi theologian whose successors gained religious and political authority throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The Safavids expressed their belief in Twelver Shiism by donning white turbans with twelve folds wrapped over a red felt cap with a baton, credited as the invention of Isma‘il’s father Haidar, and called alternately the taj Haidari or taj-i Safavi. As the Safavids took control from their Sunni predecessor, they celebrated the centralization of Shi‘a authority by implementing the taj-i Safavi for all royalty and related administrative personnel. It was regarded as the ultimate signifier of political allegiance.

During the early Safavid period under the reigns of Shah Isma‘il I (r. 1501–24) and his son, Shah Tahmasp (r. 1524–76), court fashions were evident in the detailed paintings in the Shahnama of Tahmasp and other illustrated royal manuscripts. In the paintings, the outermost garment for both men and women consists of a long robe that alternately crosses over in the front and fastens to one side, or parts down the front. Loose, ankle-length trousers peek out from beneath a chemise or pirahan falling straight to the knees for men, and mid-calf for women. Often these are worn beneath a short-sleeved robe, emphasizing the contrasting colors of the trousers and chemise in lapis blue, emerald green, and tomato red. The edges of the outer robe are depicted tucked into a belt made of strips of leather, connected by floral-shaped metal fastenings. The visual effect is a feast of color, enhanced by delicate woven motifs of the outer silk and gold brocaded fabrics. The images are brought to life in the memoirs of Michele Membré, a Venetian envoy who visited the court of Tahmasp in 1539–42, and English merchant Anthony Jenkinson in 1561–62.

Much of the splendor of Safavid garments is inherent in the textiles used to fashion the external garments. The rich tradition of weaving in Iran excels during the Safavid period, culminating in the production of illustrative figural and floral designs executed by master weavers and designers. Figural textile designs range from attractive youths in garden settings (08.109.3) to royal hunt scenes, and a small group of textiles depicting Safavid princes taking Georgian prisoners (52.20.12). The technical skill of designers in this period is evident in the thin dark outlines that delineate the figures and accompanying motifs, and the seamless repeats throughout the cloth. Floral designs are often presented within a lattice framework, accompanied by birds and foliate designs. Although many of the richly woven silk garments of the period are only accessible now as fragments, the tailored shapes suggest that they were once part of the decorative garments worn throughout Iran and sent as diplomatic gifts to Europe and India.

Books: Baker, Patricia L. “Safavid Splendor.” In Islamic Textiles. London: British Museum Press, 1995. Bier, Carol The Persian Velvets at Rosenborg. Copenhagen: De Danske Kongers Kronologiske Samling, 1995.

Bier, Carol, ed. Woven from the Soul, Spun from the Heart: Textile Arts of Safavid and Qajar Iran, 16th–:19th Centuries. Exhibition catalogue.. Washington, D.C.: Textile Museum, 1987.Blunt, Wilfred Pietro’s Pilgrimage. London: James Barrie, 1953.Canby, Sheila R. The Golden Age of Persian Art, 1501–1722. New York: Abrams, 2000.Chardin, Sir John Travels in Persia. London: Argonaut Press, 1927.Scarce, Jennifer “Through a Glass Darkly? Glimpses of Safavid Fashion in the Sixteenth Century.” In Hunt for Paradise: Court Arts of Safavid Iran, edited by Sheila Canby and Jon Thompson, pp. 319–25.. New York: Asia Society, 2003.Scarce, Jennifer Women’s Costume of the Near and Middle East. London: Unwin Hyman, 1987. Shenasa, Nazanin Hedayat “Donning the Cloak: Safavid Silks and the Display of Identity.” Master’s thesis, San Jose State University, n/a: n/a, n/a.

Fashion in the Golden Era of Shah ‘Abbas (1587–1625)

Nazanin Hedayat Munroe of the Metropolitan Museum of Art wrote: “The true flowering of Persian art across all disciplines occurred under the patronage of Shah ‘Abbas I (r. 1587–1625). Shah ‘Abbas’ reputation as a ruler vacillated between that of a worldly king and a religious shaikh, and the arts during his reign reflect this duality. Paintings depict opulently dressed youths languishing in a state of mystic ecstasy, while epigraphic silk textiles recount verses of Sufi poetry. These two identities of shaikh and king come together under the ruler’s imperative to solidify Iran’s position in international trade, while also maintaining his commitment to Safavid ideology. [Source:Nazanin Hedayat Munroe, Department of Islamic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art \^/]

“Centralizing the distribution of raw silk under state control as an important source of revenue, ‘Abbas encouraged the production and sale of high-end silk lampas and velvet textiles for apparel and home furnishings by workshops in Yazd, Kashan, and his new capital at Isfahan. Shah ‘Abbas implemented an aggressive export program for these luxury textiles, encouraged by elaborate gifts of silk garments and sent to heads of state for distribution throughout their courts. Persian velvets in particular were lauded as the finest and most expensive on the international market, and often found their way beyond palace walls into church treasuries as linings for reliquaries, or fashioned into liturgical garments such as copes (49.32.71) and chasubles. \^/

“Persian garments fashioned from these luxurious silk textiles are considered the epitome of the Safavid style. The basic elements of the outer robe, chemise, and trousers from the early period are still seen a century later; however, the belted robes are now accentuated by wide, gold-embellished sashes. Album pages by Riza-yi ‘Abbasi, court painter for Shah ‘Abbas, depict lovers and youths dressed in loose, layered clothing with vibrant patterns. The significant shift is seen in the male headgear: the elongated taj-i Safavi has been abandoned for a wide, bulbous turban adorned with an aigrette for men. Headwear for women around 1600 consisted of a square cloth or chahar-qad, placed on the crown of the head and fastened with a thin ribbon of silk, and sometimes accompanied by a chin strap made of a string of pearls or gems. After 1625, however, women are depicted in paintings and on textiles wearing a loose veil fastened with a small tiara or decorative silk ribbon tied behind the head. Outer garments are made of sumptuous floral silk textiles atop decorative layers, while the innermost garments are unadorned white cotton meant for frequent washings. The charming ensemble is finished with ankle boots or slip-on shoes of black or white leather, often sporting a Cuban heel. Accessories included elaborate jewelry and delicately embroidered purses (29.23.24). \^/

“The woven figural motifs featured on outer garments for men often depicted characters from Persian literature, such as poet Nizami’s Layla and Majnun or Khusrau and Shirin (1978.60), endowing the wearer with an affinity for the qualities of these protagonists. The stories are represented as scenes repeated within a foliate or rectilinear framework, often accompanied by poetry. While women are depicted rarely in these figural silks, floral designs depicting the rose and nightingale (gul-o-bul-bul) (26.231.2) and similar motifs are abundant. \^/

“The popularity of color, weave structure, and iconography are noted in English East India Company documents, and commented upon by European visitors including Englishmen Robert and Anthony Sherley and Italian traveler Pietro Della Valle, who visited the court of ‘Abbas in the first quarter of the seventeenth century. Favorite colors for Persian dress in the period of Shah ‘Abbas include flame red, parrot green, and salmon pink, among others. A portrait of Robert Sherley by Anthony van Dyck (1622) depicts him in full Safavid attire as the Persian ambassador, wearing the robe of honor and accessories with which Shah ‘Abbas presented him.” \^/

Fashion in the Later Safavid Period (1650–1722)

Nazanin Hedayat Munroe of the Metropolitan Museum of Art wrote: “Fashions throughout this period differ from the cut and fit of earlier garments, reflecting changing tastes and ideas in Safavid society. Chronicles by visitors such as Sir John Chardin, a French jeweler who traveled through Iran from 1673 to 1677, reveal the importance of appearance and dress in Safavid society and include detailed engravings that illustrate four different costume styles for men and women. [Source:Nazanin Hedayat Munroe, Department of Islamic Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art \^/]

“Styles after 1650 reflect a dramatic shift toward tailored garments, possibly in emulation of European examples. Women’s attire, as depicted by Chardin and in surviving garments, consists of a tailored jacket with tight sleeves and open to mid-chest, where it was cinched to the waistline with several fastenings along a central front seam. Ranging in length from hip to calf, the overcoat was cut with rounded hips or a flared skirt to accentuate the natural curves of the wearer (49.32.76). Consistent with earlier fashions, a chemise and ankle-length trousers are worn underneath the ensemble, culminating in a pointed-toe slip-on shoe. Hair was worn long and collected into multiple braids, adorned at the ends with silver or gold ornaments. All this finery was draped loosely in an enveloping veil or chador covering the body and lower face when venturing beyond the inner sanctum or andarun of the home. \^/

“Menswear evolved along similar lines, in that the outer robe became more fitted and often included a fur collar and a lining. The overall look for men in some cases was more elaborate than that of women, as male ostentation was considered more acceptable by cultural standards.

The importance of clothing within Perso-Islamic culture is enhanced by cultural practices. Several occasions, such as the annual Nauruz celebration of the spring equinox, required each participant to have a completely new wardrobe for the two-week celebratory period. Likewise, it was customary to wear new clothing at weddings and other celebrations throughout the year. Soiled clothing was cause for immediate removal and replacement, and frequent washing surely led to fading of luxury garments, which were later cut and sold for the value of the silk and metal threads. \^/

“As the dynasty came to a close in the early eighteenth century, fashions and textiles reflect the declining regime. Style in the courts became increasingly Westernized as shorter, tailored garments with stiff fabrics replaced loose layers of silk, and the fine details of earlier textiles gave way to more static compositions. The height of Safavid style, however, remains immortalized in garments and fragments in the Metropolitan Museum’s collection.” \^/

Image Sources:

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, U.S. government, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and various books, websites and other publications.

Last updated April 2016

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