Folio of calligraphy

Detached album folio; verso: calligraphy panel, quatrain by Hafiz; Persian in black nasta’liq script; signature in the bottom cloud band; recto: Emperor Shah Jahan standing on a globe; inscriptions in Persian black nasta’liq script; one of a group of 16 folios.
Border: The calligraphy panel is set in an inner frame of cartouches with calligraphy and a pink floral scroll outer frame mounted on paperboard with illuminated floral motifs. The painting is set in a pink, floral scroll inner frame and a gold outer frame mounted on paperboard with illuminated floral motifs.

Maker(s)
Artist: Mir Ali Haravi (died ca. 1550)
Historical period(s)
Safavid or Mughal periods, 16th century
Medium
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 17.1 x 9.2 cm (6 3/4 x 3 5/8 in)
Geography
Iran
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1939.49b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Manuscript folio

Keywords
illumination, Iran, nasta'liq script, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Description

Detached album folio; verso: calligraphy panel, quatrain by Hafiz; Persian in black nasta'liq script; signature in the bottom cloud band; recto: Emperor Shah Jahan standing on a globe; inscriptions in Persian black nasta'liq script; one of a group of 16 folios.
Border: The calligraphy panel is set in an inner frame of cartouches with calligraphy and a pink floral scroll outer frame mounted on paperboard with illuminated floral motifs. The painting is set in a pink, floral scroll inner frame and a gold outer frame mounted on paperboard with illuminated floral motifs.

Inscription(s)

Amal Hashim. Tarikh dovom Jamadi al-thani ruz doshanbeh seneh 38 shabih tayar shoud.

"Work of Hashim. On the second of Jumada II, day Monday, year 1038, the portrait was executed."

Elahi to in shah darvish dost
ke asayesh khalgh dar zel-i oost
basi bar sar-i khalgh payandeh dar
betofigh ta'at delash zehdeh dar

"Oh God, keep this king, the friend of the dervishes
under whose shadow people's peaceful existance is maintained
keep him for a long time [established over the people]
keep his heart alive by the succor of obedience."

Inscriptions in the parasol: top: God is great; In the large circle below (as well as can be deciphered): [Persian] The victorious hero Shah Jahan [?] Muhammad lord of felicity; in the shining star from right to left in circles: genealogy of Shah Jahan back to Timur (Padeshah Akbar, Padeshah Humayun, Babur, Umar Shayk, Sultan Abu Said, Sultan Mirza Mahmud, Mira Shah, Shahib qaran Amir Taymur.

Label

This quatrain by the celebrated Persian poet, Hafiz (died 1209) is written in nastaliq, a script developed in late fifteenth-century Iran.  Because of its simple elegance and legibility, nastaliq became the ideal script for transcribing poetry in Iran, India, and Turkey, where Persian literary culture prevailed. The calligraphy is signed by the most celebrated sixteenth-century Persian calligrapher, Mir Ali, whose work was greatly admired and avidly collected in Mughal India. To accentuate the beauty of Mir Ali's script, Mughal patrons would often add lavish floral motifs to the calligraphy.

Published References
  • The Emperor's Album: Images of Mughal India. Exh. cat. New York. pp. 35, 52, 69, 77, 116, pl. 61.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court. Exh. cat. Washington, 1981. cat. 24d, p. 146.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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