Man Filling a Wine Cup

A bearded man filling a wine cup.
Ink outline, slight color and gold. Signature (?) Inscriptions. Reverse: a page of calligraphy.

Neg. No. S5023B

Historical period(s)
Safavid period, mid-17th century
Medium
Ink, color wash, and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W (drawing): 11.3 × 8 cm (4 7/16 × 3 1/8 in)
Geography
Iran, Isfahan
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1907.2
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Painting

Keywords
Iran, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), scholar, wine
Provenance

To 1907
Unidentified owner, Cairo, Egypt, to 1907 [1]

From 1907 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased in Cairo, Egypt, from an unidentified owner in 1907 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] See List of Persian Manuscripts and Miniatures, S.I. 1580, pg. 10, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Description

A bearded man filling a wine cup.
Ink outline, slight color and gold. Signature (?) Inscriptions. Reverse: a page of calligraphy.

Neg. No. S5023B

Inscription(s)

A shaykh who would use his tears [of repentance] for his ablutions,
Was always averse to a cup and jar [of wine]
At our gathering last evening, he created quite an uproar,
He broke our wine bottles and we his aversion to wine.

Label

This fine drawing on brown paper depicts a kneeling religious scholar (shaykh) holding a wine gourd in one hand and a gold cup in the other. It is framed by four lines of poetry that offer a humorous interpretation of the composition but also question the meaning of true devotion.


A shaykh who would use his tears [of repentance] for his ablutions,
Was always averse to a cup and jar [of wine].
At our gathering last evening, he created quite an uproar,
He broke our wine bottles and we his aversion to wine.

Although the composition bears the signature of Riza Abbasi, one of the most celebrated seventeenth-century Persian painters, it is probably by one of his followers. Because of Riza Abbasi's fame, many of his students added his name to their works in order to enhance their value.

Published References
  • Shamsuddin Muhammad Hafiz. The Poems of Hafez. Bethesda, MD. cover image.
  • Najmieh Batmanglij. From Persia to Napa: Wine at the Persian Table. Washington. p. 42.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. The Brush of the Masters: Drawings from Iran and India. Exh. cat. Washington, 1978. cat. 20, p. 57.
  • Theodor Menzel. Festschrift Georg Jacob. Leipzig. p. 196.
  • Stephen Frederic Dale. The Muslim Empires of the Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals., 1st edition. New York and Cambridge. p. 239, fig. 20.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.