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Title: On two seventeenth century persian paintings depicting comets or fireballs
Authors: Kapoor, R. C
Keywords: Comet of 1652;Great comet of 1668;Fireballs;Astronomy in art;Medieval persian paintings;Farangi-Sazi;Muḥammad Zaman;Ali Quli Jubbahdar;Astronomy in seventeenth century persia
Issue Date: Aug-2019
Publisher: National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand
Citation: Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, Vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 273‒293
Abstract: In the Theodore M. Davis Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York there are two seventeenth century Persian paintings by Muhammad Zaman and Ali Quli Jubbahdar that depict comets or fireballs. From the inscriptions on them, the paintings were dated and on that basis the comets identified as those seen in the years CE 1664/1665 and CE 1674/1675 respectively. I find these identifications in error and suggest instead the bright comet of CE 1652 and the Great Comet of CE 1668 as the probable ones or that both paintings actually depict fireballs rather than comets. Both the paintings depict celestial objects with tails, and are most likely based on astronomical observations. Such a connection between astronomical knowledge and art was not common in the Middle East and India during the Medieval and Early Modern Periods.
Description: Open Access
ISSN: 1440-2807
Appears in Collections:IIAP Publications

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