A Prince on Horseback Offering Wine to a Youth in a Tree House from the Gulshan Album

Maker(s)
Artist: Attributed to Madhava (marginal figures)
Calligrapher: Mir Ali (died 1556)
Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, Reign of Jahangir, ca. 1600, calligraphy from ca. 1540
Movement
Mughal Court
School
Mughal School
Medium
Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 42.5 x 26.6 cm (16 3/4 x 10 1/2 in)
Geography
India
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1954.116
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Album, Painting
Type

Album leaf with painting

Keywords
horse, India, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), nasta'liq script, prince, Reign of Jahangir (1605 - 1627), tree, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

This folio's delicately realized border depicts artisans involved in manuscript production. Proceeding counterclockwise from the top right, we see burnishing (smoothing and polishing) of paper, the stamping of designs into a leather cover, the sizing of the folios, a woodworker sawing a bookstand, the preparation of gold leaf and a calligrapher at work. The naturalistic modeling indicates that the border artist adopted the figural imagery from the European prints that circulated in the imperial court.

The sample of calligraphy in the center of this folio was written by Mir Ali, a famous 16th-century artist who worked in Herat and Bukhara. The verses are from the Munajat of Abu Ismail Abdallah Ansari:

The pir of Herat says: Eat no one's food; withhold food from on one. Fear not poverty. Recognize God as the [ultimate] giver. Eat what God gives, for it never decreases. Realize that your own little is better than others' much. [written by] the sinful slave Mir-Ali al Sultani.

Published References
  • Susan Stronge. Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection. .
  • Richard Ettinghausen. The Emperor's Choice., reprint. New York. pl. 34, fig.17.
  • Sheila Blair. Islamic Calligraphy. Edinburgh. pl. 2.3.
  • Johannes Pedersen. The Arabic Book. Modern Classics in Near Eastern Studies Princeton. cover, figs.28-34.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court. Exh. cat. Washington, 1981. cat. 16b, pp. 10, 156-161.
  • Annemarie Schimmel, assisted by Barbara Rivolta. Islamic Calligraphy. New York. pp. 20, 76, fig. 24.
  • Annemarie Schimmel. Calligraphy and Islamic Culture. Hagop Kevorkian Series on Near Eastern Art and Civilization New York, 1983 - 1984. pp. 20, 76, fig. 24.
  • James David. Islamic Masterpieces of the Chester Beatty Library. Exh. cat. London. pp. 44-45.
  • John Guy, Jorrit Britschgi. Wonder of the Age: Master Painters of India, 1100-1900. New York. 51, 16.
  • Marianna Shreve Simpson. L'Art Islamique: Asiae, Iran, Afgahanistan, Asia Centrale et Inde. La Grammaire des Styles Paris, 1956-1958. pp. 59-60.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. The Brush of the Masters: Drawings from Iran and India. Exh. cat. Washington, 1978. cat. 63, pp. 106-107.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court., 2nd. Washington and Ahmedabad, India, 2012. cat. 20D, p. 108.
  • Fu Shen, Glenn D. Lowry, Ann Yonemura, Thomas Lawton. From Concept to Context: Approaches to Asian and Islamic Calligraphy. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 52, pp. 144-145.
  • Sheila Blair, Jonathan M. Bloom. The Art and Architecture of Islam, 1250-1800. Yale University Press Pelican History of Art London. p. 295, fig. 371.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Worlds within Worlds: Imperial Paintings from India and Iran
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.

Related Objects