First seen in Parma, Italy earlier this year, Spirit & Life is an exhibition of rare Islamic art and manuscripts from the permanent collection of the Aga Khan Museum, which will open in Toronto, Canada, in 2010. Highlights from the London show include miniatures from the illustrated manuscript of the Persian epic Shahnama (The Book of Kings) and an extremely rare copy of the Canon of Medicine of Ibn Sina, used in Europe and the Middle East as the standard medical textbook for over 500 years.
Divided into two sections, ‘The Word of God’ provides an insight into themes such as prayer, devotions and spirituality. ‘The Power of the Sovereign’ shows some of the finest works of art from the major historical courts of the Islamic world. Displays devoted to ‘The Path of Princes’ represent art of the medieval and early modern Islamic courts alongside scientific texts of medicine, books of fables, miniatures, tiles, ceramics and musical instruments as well as portraits of Ottoman sultans and Qajar shahs of the 19th century. The exhibition covers a geographical area stretching from India in the East to Morocco in the West and spans over a thousand years from the ninth to the 19th century.
An exhibition catalogue is available at the The Ismaili Centre, South Kensington, London.
Spirit and Life Web Site