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Working an average of 100 hours per week over the course of 3.5 years, he made illustrations to accompany all 500 pages of the translation. Each panel is a digital composite of between 12 and 120 different visual elements from existing paintings, lithographs and miniatures found in the poem’s manuscripts, making this version simultaneously one-of-a-kind and borne straight out of tradition. He spent 200 hours alone on the most elaborate illustration in the book and at times felt like he was, in a way, channeling Ferdowsi, he said.
“You have to be in love and also a little bit of a lunatic to do something like this,” Rahmanian said.