Folio from a Divan (collected poems) by Hafiz (d. 1390); recto: wine shop; verso: text

Detached folio from a copy of the Divan (collected poems) by Hafiz (F1932.45) with selections from the work of Ibn Yamin, Omar Khayyam, and Nizami in the margins; text: Persian in black nasta’liq script; recto: illustration: Wine shop; verso: text: two columns, 12 lines; one of a group of 9 detached folios (F1932.46-54) from the bound manuscript (F1932.45); accessioned separately.
Border: The text and the painting are set in gold and blue rulings on cream-colored paper.

Maker(s)
Artist: Shaykhzade
Calligrapher: Sultan Muhammad Nur
Historical period(s)
Safavid period, 1523-24 (930 A.H.)
Medium
Opaque watercolor, ink, gold and silver on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 30 x 18.7 cm (11 13/16 x 7 3/8 in)
Geography
Afghanistan, Herat
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1932.53
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Manuscript folio

Keywords
Afghanistan, commerce, courtyard, drinking, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), tambourine, wine
Provenance

To 1931
Claude Anet (1868-1931), Paris to 1931 [1]

1932
Hagop Kevorkian (1872-1962), acquired in Paris, March 21, 1932 [2]

From 1932
Freer Gallery of Art, puchased from Hagop Kevorkian in 1932 [3]

Notes:

[1] Object file, folder sheet note.

[2] See Hagop Kevorkian's letter to Mr. Lodge, dated March 25, 1932 Paris, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[3] Object file, undated folder sheet note. See also Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file, Collections Management Office.

Previous Owner(s)

Claude Anet 1868-1931
Hagop Kevorkian 1872-1962

Description

Detached folio from a copy of the Divan (collected poems) by Hafiz (F1932.45) with selections from the work of Ibn Yamin, Omar Khayyam, and Nizami in the margins; text: Persian in black nasta'liq script; recto: illustration: Wine shop; verso: text: two columns, 12 lines; one of a group of 9 detached folios (F1932.46-54) from the bound manuscript (F1932.45); accessioned separately.
Border: The text and the painting are set in gold and blue rulings on cream-colored paper.

Inscription(s)

On the spandrel: "Oh opener of the doors."

Label

A common symbol for the Sufi search for divine knowledge was wine, which with its properties of loosening one's hold on reality, helped the mystic to achieve a state bordering on spiritial ecstasy. Since the orthodox tenets of Islam forbade wine-drinking, it often occurred in remote wineshops, run by certain non-Muslims generally known as Magians.

Here the wineshop is represented as an elegant place, with women and children peering down from the upper windows and balconies. On the outdoor terrace edged with flowering trees, an old man or pir, who is both the tavern-keeper and a regligious elder, greets the guests. One young man already seems overcome by the wine, whose real and symbolic effects are aptly described in the white inscription over the portal: "O Opener of Doors!"

Published References
  • Freer Gallery of Art. Gallery Book III: Exhibition of September 5, 1933. Washington, September 5, 1933. .
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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