Folio from a Gulistan (Rosegarden) by Sa’di; recto: A prince riding; verso: text

Artist: Attributed to Balchand
Calligrapher: Sultan 'Ali Mashhadi
Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, Reign of Shah Jahan, Text dated 1468, paintings repainted ca. 1645
Mughal Court
Mughal School
Ink, gold, and opaque watercolor on paper
H x W (page): 24.6 x 16 cm (9 11/16 x 6 5/16 in)
India and Iran
Credit Line
Gift of the Art and History Trust in honor of Ezzat-Malek Soudavar
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Manuscript folio

Gulistan, horse, horseman, India, Iran, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), prince, Reign of Shah Jahan (1628 - 1658)
Provenance research underway.

This composition is by Payag's brother, Balchand, another of Shah-Jahan's celebrated painters. More traditional in style than his brother, Balchand avoided the use of European techniques and was particularly renowned for the richly textured surfaces of his paintings and his fine portraits of the Mughal imperial family.  In the Gulistan, Balchand's sensitive portrayal of the two main figures--a prince and a lovesick youth--has resulted in an intense and emotionally charged pictorial equivalent of Sa'di's anecdote on the nature of love.

Published References
  • Masters of Indian Painting. Exh. cat. Zurich. vol. 1: pp. 337-356, fig. 9.
  • John Seyller. Journal of the David Collection. vol. 3, Copenhagen. pp. 130-159, fig. 3.
  • 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. p. 151, fig. 3.
  • Abolala Soudavar, Milo Cleveland Beach. Art of the Persian Courts: Selections from the Art and History Trust Collection. New York. cat. 136, p. 337.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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