Folio from a Khamsa (Quintet) by Nizami (d.1209); The prophets Elias and Khidr at the fountain of life

Detail of a pattern
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At A Glance

On View
  • Period

    late 15th century
  • Geography

    Herat, Afghanistan
  • Material

    Opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
  • Dimension

    H x W: 15.7 x 13.4 cm (6 3/16 x 5 1/4 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Detached folio from a dispersed copy of a Khamsa (Qunitet) by Nizami; The prophet Elias and Khidr at the fountain of life, verses in Persian black nasta'liq script.
    Border: The painting is set in gold, blue, and black rulings mounted on a gold-sprinkled, light-green paperboard.
  • Inscriptions

    On the bottom page: shigifti nashud ke ab-i haywan-guhar / kunad mahi-i murda ra janawar
    On the bottom page: shigifti nashud ke ab-i haywan-guhar / kunad mahi-i murda ra janawar
  • Provenance

    From at least 1929-at least 1934
    Arménag Bey Sakisian (1875-1949), method of acquisition unknown [1]
    About 1931-1937?
    Ownership information unknown
    ?-to at least 1937
    H. Kevorkian, New York, method of acquisition unknown [2]
    From 1937
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from H. Kevorkian, New York [3]
    [1] See Laurence Binyon, J.V.S. Wilkinson and Basil Gray, “Persian Miniature Painting: Including a Critical Descriptive catalogue of the Miniatures Exhibited at Burlington House, January-March, 1931” [book] (London: Oxford University Press, 1933), p. 95, no. 76, pl. LXI-A, “Lent by Armenag Bey Sakisian, Paris”.
    See also Arménag Bey Sakisian, “La Miniature Persane du XIIe au XVIIe siècle: ouvrage accompagné de la reproduction de 193 miniatures dont deux en couleurs” [book] (Paris et Bruxelles: Les Editions G. Van Ouest, 1929), pl. 1 (frontispiece), p. 82. The miniature is cited as being in the collection of the author. Additionally, see Coomaraswamy, A. K. “Khwaja Khadir and the Fountain of Life, in the Tradition of Persian and Mughal Art.” “Ars Islamica”, vol. 1 no. 1 (1934): p.177. Coomaraswamy references the object, citing its publication in Binyon and Sakisian, stating, “One of these, from a late sixteenth century manuscript belonging to Mr. Sakisian, is reproduced in color as frontispiece to his ‘La Miniature Persane’”.
    Arménag Bey Sakisian was a collector, art historian, and an archaeologist who lived in Paris but worked extensively in Syria and the surrounding region.
    [2] Hagop Kevorkian (1872-1962) was a dealer and collector of Islamic Art with eponymous galleries in New York and Paris. See note 3 for details regarding purchase invoice.
    [3] The Freer Gallery of Art paid H. Kevorkian in installments, the first on April 23, 1937, and the last on June 2, 1937, and approved on June 1, 1937. See object file for copies of invoices.
    Research updated December 12, 2022
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Engaging the Senses (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
    Arts of the Islamic World (May 3, 1998 to January 3, 2016)
    From the Hand of Mani (January 18, 1985 to July 5, 1985)
    Art of the Near East (August 21, 1977 to December 14, 1979)
    Near Eastern Art (June 15, 1973 to May 7, 1975)
    2500 Years of Persian Art—Paintings, Pottery (February 10, 1972 to June 15, 1973)
    Near Eastern Art—Paintings, Pottery (August 18, 1967 to February 10, 1972)
    Near Eastern Art (June 5, 1964 to August 18, 1967)
    Persian Art (January 1, 1963 to September 3, 1963)
    Special Exhibition Afghanistan (September 3, 1963 to June 5, 1964)
    Glass Exhibition, in honor of VI International Congress on Glass (July 4, 1962 to December 3, 1962)
    Special Exhibition (February 9, 1954 to April 20, 1954)
    Untitled Exhibition, Islamic Arts, 1947 (October 6, 1947 to February 25, 1956)
    Untitled Exhibition, Islamic Manuscripts (May 1, 1945 to September 25, 1947)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Armenag Sakisian (1875 - 1949)
    Hagop Kevorkian (1872-1962)
  • Origin

    Herat, Afghanistan
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

  • On View

    Freer Gallery 04: Engaging the Senses
  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

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