The Royal Hunt in Islamic Art: a Symbol of Power or an Enduring Image?

Sheila Canby

in Regime Change in the Ancient Near East and Egypt

Published by British Academy

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780197263907
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734687 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

The Royal Hunt in Islamic Art: a Symbol of Power or an Enduring Image?

Show Summary Details


This chapter examines the imagery of the royal hunt in the Middle East and particularly Iran from the seventh to the nineteenth century. It attempts to determine whether the strength of the association of hunting with kingship underlies the enduring symbolism of the king as the supreme hunter, or whether the power of the visual motifs was so compelling that they ensured the continuity of the royal hunter in the visual arts of the Islamic world. It concludes that the attitudes to the depiction of royal hunts in Islamic Iran depended to a great extent on who was in power and how they wished to be perceived.

Keywords: royal hunt; Middle East; Iran; kingship; symbolism; supreme hunter; visual arts

Chapter.  5352 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at British Academy »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.