Two women carrying a tea service

Historical period(s)
Timurid period, 15th century
Medium
Ink, color, and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 19.5 x 15.8 cm (7 11/16 x 6 1/4 in)
Geography
Historic Iran, present-day Afghanistan
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1938.14
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Manuscript folio

Keywords
Afghanistan, chinoiserie, Iran, tea, Timurid period (1378 - 1506), woman, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

This tinted drawing is another manifestation of Timurid fascination with China. Whether the artist drew the composition from memory or based it on an actual model, he must have been unfamiliar with his subject matter. He has reduced the folds of the women's garments and their hair ornaments into decorative patterns, while the teapot has been converted into a two-dimensional motif. Such Timurid compositions were clearly valued for their depiction of the "other" rather than as an authentic representation of Chinese women and their accoutrements.

Published References
  • Fredrik Robert Martin. The Miniature Painting and Painters of Persia, India, and Turkey from the 8th to the 18th Century. 2 vols., London. vol. 2: pl. 33.
  • Georges Marteau, Henri Vever. Miniatures Persanes: tirees des collections de M.M. Henry d'Allemagne, Claude Anet, Henri Aubrey... 2 vols., Paris, June-October 1912. pls. 50, 51.
  • Ernst Grube. The Problem of the Istanbul Album Paintings. vol. 1. p.12,17,19,178, fig. 448.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. The Brush of the Masters: Drawings from Iran and India. Exh. cat. Washington, 1978. cat. 9, p. 29.
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.