The Shapur Plate


Medium: Silver and gilt 

Type: Metalwork

Date: 4th century 

 Accession Number: F1934.23 

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

“I, Shapur, king of kings, partner with the Stars, brother of the Sun and Moon, to my brother Constantius Caesar offer most ample greeting.…”

Description from The Smithsonian Museum:  “Like Shapur’s flowery letter to the Roman emperor Constantine, this masterpiece of silverwork presents Shapur II as a ruler of the universe, the king of kings.

It was produced during the fourth century CE for Shapur II, the Sasanian king who is identified by his distinctive crown. He was one of the most powerful rulers of the Sasanian dynasty, which controlled Iran and much of the Ancient Near East from 224 to 651 CE. During Shapur’s reign, scenes depicting the king hunting gazelle, boars, bulls, and ibex were important metaphors for royal power. The plate, like several other similar examples, was presented as a gift to dignitaries or was displayed prominently in the Sasanian palace to assert Shapur’s sovereignty.

This Sasanian plate, however, was not discovered in Iran, but in Russia. Its journey from Iran to Russia and then to the United States and the Freer Gallery of Art is as important to its identity as was its role in the Sasanian court. Acquired by a wealthy Russian noble family, the Stroganovs, on the borderlands of Siberia, it was displayed in their palace in Saint Petersburg until the Russian Revolution of 1917. In 1934 it became one of the first works of Sasanian art to enter the United States, and it is among the most important Sasanian objects in an American museum”  via: smithsonian 


Text:   Smithsonian Museum
The many contradictions of Trump's secretary of state candidates
Good luck trying to figure out Trump's foreign policy vision by looking at these contenders. By NAHAL TOOSI and KATIE GLUECK

At first blush, they seem remarkably alike: 10 older white men, all successful in their chosen fields, and all willing to serve the country if called upon by the incoming president, Donald Trump.

But take a closer look at Trump’s batch of secretary of state candidates and the similarities fade quickly. One candidate has called for bombing Iran; others believe it’s important to keep the Iran nuclear deal intact. Some are longtime admirers of Russian President Vladimir Putin; others view the Kremlin as a major threat to U.S. security. On topics ranging from China to global trade, the views of the 10, who come from both private- and public-sector backgrounds, can vary dramatically. Sometimes their opinions run counter to what Trump says he believes.

That Trump is considering a set of candidates with no real consistency of views reflects his own incoherence on foreign policy. It bodes poorly for U.S. officials and foreign leaders desperate for some sense of predictability on what America will do. It also indicates that Trump may ultimately care little about what his top diplomat thinks, relying on other advisers instead. After all, the Republican president-elect already has made moves at odds with longstanding U.S. foreign policy while largely ignoring the State Department’s offers of help.

“The fact that Trump is auditioning uber-hawks and tempered internationalists, flamethrowers, statesmen and oilmen shows how much of the style and substance of Trump’s foreign policy remain up-for-grabs,” said Daniel Benaim, a former adviser to outgoing Vice President Joe Biden.

The 10 names being floated for the Foggy Bottom position are: former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton; Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker; former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; former ambassador to China Jon Huntsman; Sen. Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat from West Virginia; retired Army Gen. David Petraeus; GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California; former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis; and Rex Tillerson, the chief executive of the Exxon Mobil Corporation.

Read more here

Singing in the Shah Mosque in Isfahan, Iran

The acoustics  in the 400 year old mosque are amazing & notes hang in the air with crystal clarity. The singer is a student from northern Iran visiting Isfahan & had always wanted to sing in the mosque because of its unique acoustic resonance qualities. You have to stand on the tiled square for perfect effect.

Plate Depicting a Female Figure Riding a Fantastic Winged Beast                   

Object Name: Plate                                           

Date: probably 8th century                                        

Geography:  Attributed to Iran                                        

Culture:  Islamic                                        

Medium:  Silver; gilded, chased, and engraved, with applied elements             

Dimensions: H. 1 9/16 in. (4.0 cm) Diam. 8 1/8 in. (20.6 cm)   

Classification: Metal                                           

Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1963  

Accession Number: 63.186        

Metropolitan Museum of Art                                                      

Description from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: “Like Sasanian examples, this plate depicts a female figure riding a fantastic winged beast with a feline head, feathered body, and canine legs. Her figure is unnaturalistically twisted, a quality seen on late seventh‑ and early eighth‑century Central Asian wall paintings from Panjikent. The lower part of the plate contains a symbolic representation of earth, water, and sky.” (metropolitan museum of art)


The Complete Persepolis (2007)

“Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming–both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.

Edgy, searingly observant, and candid, often heartbreaking but threaded throughout with raw humor and hard-earned wisdom–Persepolis is a stunning work from one of the most highly regarded, singularly talented graphic artists at work today.”

 by Marjane Satrapi

Get it  now here

Marjane Satrapi (Persian: مرجان ساتراپی) is an Iranian-born French contemporary graphic novellist, illustrator, animated film director, and children’s book author. Apart from her native tongue Persian, she speaks English, Swedish, German, French and Italian.

Satrapi grew up in Tehran in a family which was involved with communist and socialist movements in Iran prior to the Iranian Revolution. She attended the Lycée Français there and witnessed, as a child, the growing suppression of civil liberties and the everyday-life consequences of Iranian politics, including the fall of the Shah, the early regime of Ruhollah Khomeini, and the first years of the Iran-Iraq War. She currently lives in Paris, where she is at work on the sequel to Persepolis. She is also the author of several children’s books.

[Follow SuperheroesInColor faceb / instag / twitter / tumblr / pinterest]


Arms and Armor From the Islamic World

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (February 10, 2016-January 2, 2017)

This exhibition features a selection of more than three dozen historical examples of Islamic arms and armor, which represent the breadth and depth of The Met’s renowned holdings in this area. Focusing primarily on the courts of the Mamluk and Ottoman sultans, shahs of Iran, and Mughal emperors of India, the exhibition celebrates the publication of Islamic Arms and Armor in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum’s first scholarly volume on the subject.


Kimia Alizadeh becomes the first woman from Iran to win an Olympic medal

Kimia Alizadeh is just 18 years old and is already viewed as an icon by fellow Iranians on Twitter for her incredible feat Thursday night. She became the first woman to win an Olympic medal while representing Iran when she won the bronze in taekwondo.

Alizadeh defeated Sweden’s Nikita Glasnovic in the under-57 kilogram division by 5-1 for the bronze medal, Yahoo News reported. In doing so, she became an inspiration for a whole generation of young Iranian women.

Alizadeh, who competed in a sports hijab under her combative gear, already has a successful career in the martial arts.

follow @the-movemnt


Iranian Islamic Architecture

The fall of the Sassanian dynasty by the invading Muslim Arabs led to the adaptation of Persian architectural forms for Islamic religious buildings in Iran. Arts such as calligraphy, stucco work, mirror work and mosaics became closely tied with the architecture of mosques in Persia (Iran). An example is the round-domed rooftops which originate in the Parthian (Ashkanid) dynasty of Iran.