Folio from a Divan (collected poems) by Hafiz (d. 1390); recto: Sufi dance; 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 and text: Dancing dervishes; verso: text: two columns, 12 lines with marginal verses; one of a group of 9 detached folios (F 1932.46-54) 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): 30.1 x 18.9 cm (11 7/8 x 7 7/16 in)
Geography
Afghanistan, Herat
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1932.54
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Manuscript folio

Keywords
Afghanistan, courtyard, dance, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), Sufism
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 and text: Dancing dervishes; verso: text: two columns, 12 lines with marginal verses; one of a group of 9 detached folios (F 1932.46-54) 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.

Label

This illustration belongs to an early-sixteenth- century copy of the Divan of the great Persian poet Hafiz. Known for his ghazals (lyrical odes), Hafiz's verses elaborate on abstract themes, such as beauty and love, and are infused with a distinct mystical content.

The painting illustrates a group of Sufis or Islamic mystics in an ecstatic dance. According to Sufism, dancing, especially in a circle, is considered one of the means of achieving spiritual fulfillment and is still practiced by the whirling dervishes of Turkey and other mystical sects. In this animated composition, the men are portrayed in varying stages of spiritual abandon. Even the swaying branches of the trees in the background echoes their mood.

Published References
  • Arabic and Islamic Studies in Honor of Hamilton A.R. Gibb. Cambridge, Massachusetts and Leiden. pl. 2.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Exhibition of 2500 Years of Persian Art. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 36.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Humor and Wit in Islamic Art. vol. 7 New York, Fall 1994. p. 18, fig. 9.
  • Along the Silk Road. p. 29, fig. 1.3.
  • , Massumeh Farhad, J.M. Rogers, Marianna Shreve Simpson. Persian Masters: Five Centures of Paintings. Bombay. cat. 28 iii, p. 70.
  • Sheila R. Canby. The Life and Work of the Painter Riza., microfilm. Cambridge, Massachusetts. p. 189, fig. 33.
  • , Robert H Dyson, Jr., Charles K. Wilkinson, Prudence Oliver Harper. Highlights of Persian Art. Persian Art Series, no. 1 Boulder, Colorado. pp. 260-261, fig. 168.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Islamic Art and Archaeology: Collected Papers. Berlin. pp. 713-751.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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