Folio from a Gulistan (Rosegarden) by Sa’di; verso: Galen watching a dispute; recto: text

Maker(s)
Artist: Attributed to Payag (active ca.1591-ca.1658)
Calligrapher: Sultan 'Ali Mashhadi
Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, Reign of Shah Jahan, Text dated 1468, illumination added early 16th century, paintings repainted ca. 1645
Medium
Ink, gold, and opaque watercolor on paper
Dimensions
H x W (page): 24.6 x 16 cm (9 11/16 x 6 5/16 in)
Geography
Present-day Afghanistan, and India
Credit Line
Gift of the Art and History Trust in honor of Ezzat-Malek Soudavar
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1998.5.60
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Manuscript folio

Keywords
Afghanistan, fool, Gulistan, illumination, India, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), Reign of Shah Jahan (1628 - 1658), scholar, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

Shah Tahmasp (reigned 1524-1576), Persia [1]

From at least 1558
Akbar (reigned 1556-1605), India, from at least 1558 [2]

Mughal Imperial Library [3]

From at least 1644
Jahan-ara, daughter of Shah Jahan (reigned 1628-1658), from at least 1644 [4]

Marquis of Bute, England [5]

To 1998
The Art and History Trust, Liechtenstein, to 1998

From 1998
Freer Gallery of Art, given by the Art and History Trust in 1998 [6]

Notes:

[1] According to Curatorial Note 1, Massumeh Farhad, March 16, 1998, in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See note 1.

[4] See note 1. Shah-Jahan, was the grandson of Akbar.

[5] According to Curatorial Note 3 in the object record.

[6] The Art and History Trust was established in 1991 by Abolala Soudavar and his family of distinguished bibliophiles. Gathered over a period of some thirty years, the collection is presently on long-term loan to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. However, this particular manuscript was given in honor of Ezzat-Malek Soudavar to the Freer Gallery of Art on the occasion of its seventy-fifth anniversary (see Curatorial Note 3, Massumeh Farhad, August 18, 1998, in the object record).

Previous Owner(s)

The Art and History Trust
Mughal Imperial Library
Shah Tahmasp 1524-1576
Akbar reigned 1556-1605

Label

A contemporary of the artist Govardhan, Payag created works that stand out for their somber palette and dramatic lighting effects.  Inspired by European  chiaroscuro (light and dark) technique, Payag masterfully adapted this artistic device to Mughal manuscript paintings.  In this Gulistan illustration, the threatening sky and dark hillside heighten the intensity of the narrative moment in which the legendary Greek physician Galen watches in despair as a fool attacks a learned man.

Published References
  • Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. pp. 148-151.
  • Abolala Soudavar, Milo Cleveland Beach. Art of the Persian Court: Selections from the Art and History Trust Collection. New York. cat. 136, pp. 337.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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