Metropolitan Museum of Art, February 17 - May 31, 2015
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is featuring an exhibition with some three dozen works of art
in various media, created between the fifteenth century and the present day. Works from the Museum's Department
of Islamic Art that illustrate the linked nature of bazm and razm will be displayed alongside corresponding
works—primarily Persian—from the departments of Asian Art, Arms and Armor, and Musical Instruments.
The exhibition will chart the gradual shift in meaning and usage of this pairing as it emerged from a strictly royal,
or princely, context and became more widespread.
Some Background on the Exhibit
For centuries, Persian kingship was epitomized by two complementary pursuits: bazm (feast) and razm (fight).
The ruler's success as both a reveler and hunter/warrior distinguished him as a worthy
and legitimate sovereign. The pairing of bazm and razm as the ultimate royal activities is an
ancient concept with roots in pre-Islamic Iran. It is a recurring theme in the Shahnama
(or Book of Kings)—the Persian national epic—as well as other poetic and historic texts.
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