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The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256–1353

Komaroff, Linda, and Stefano Carboni, eds., with essays by Morris Rossabi, Charles Melville, James C. Y. Watt, Tomoko Masuya, Sheila Blair, Robert Hillenbrand, Sarah Bertalan, John Hirx, Marco Leona, Pieter Meyers, Linda Komaroff, and Stefano Carboni (2002)

This title is out of print.

College Art Association Alfred H. Barr Jr. Book Award, Winner (2004)

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The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256–1353

In a lifetime characterized by war and conquest, Genghis Khan (1167?–1227) forged the largest contiguous land empire in human history. His legacy was a unified Mongol confederacy that his sons and grandsons ruled for more than a century. During this peaceful era, people, objects, and ideas moved with unprecedented freedom over a vast territory that reached from the Pacific Ocean to the Black Sea. The confluence of previously distant cultures yielded a bold new visual aesthetic that would resonate in Islamic art for centuries to come.

The landmark traveling exhibition The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Arts and Culture in Western Asia, 1256–1353 explores the influence of China's Yüan dynasty, founded by Kublai Khan (a grandson of Genghis Khan), on the art and culture of Iran's Ilkhanid dynasty, founded by Hulagu (another of his grandsons). On view will be some 200 works from museums and collections worldwide, including rare textiles, ceramics, jewelry and metalwork, works in stone and wood, and outstanding examples of the art of the book. A highlight will be the display of more than 30 vividly illustrated pages from the Great Mongol Shahnama (Book of Kings). Now dispersed in many collections worldwide, this version of the Iranian epic—made for a royal patron—is one of the most luxurious ever produced.