Reclining prince

Album folio: A reclining prince; mounted on an album page with illuminated panels in Arabic white thuluth script; inscription on the book held by the figure.
Border: The folio is set in gold, green and black rulings mounted on a paperboard with floral and animal motifs.

Maker(s)
Artist: Attributed to Aqa Mirak
Historical period(s)
Safavid period, ca. 1530
Medium
Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W (image): 33.6 x 21.2 cm (13 1/4 x 8 3/8 in)
Geography
Iran, Tabriz
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Henri Vever collection
Accession Number
S1986.300
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Album, Painting
Type

Detached album folio

Keywords
book, Henri Vever collection, Iran, prince, Qur'an, reading, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), WWII-era provenance
Provenance

From at least 1910
Stéphane Bourgeois, from at least 1910 [1]

From at least 1912
Ducote, from at least 1912 [2]

Arthur Sambon (1867-1947), Paris [3]

From at least 1913
Léonce Rosenberg (1879-1947), Paris, from at least 1913 [4]

To 1942
Henri Vever (1854-1942), Paris and Noyers, France, to 1942 [5]

From 1942 to 1986
Family member, Paris and Boulogne, France, by inheritance from Henri Vever, Paris and Noyers, France [6]

From 1986
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, purchased from a family member, Paris and Boulogne, France [7]

Notes:

[1] See Susan Nemazee, "Appendix 7: Chart of Recent Provenance" in An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection, Glenn D. Lowry et al (Washington, DC: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1988), p. 409.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See note 1.

[4] The object is documented as having appeared in the collection of Léonce Rosenberg by at least May 26, 1913. See note 1.

[5] See Glenn D. Lowry et al., An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection (Washington, DC: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1988), p. 299, no. 349.

[6] See the Agreement for the Purchase and Sale of the Henri Vever Collection of January 9, 1986, Collections Management Office.

[7] See note 6.

[6] François Mautin, grandson of Henri Vever, inherited Vever's Near Eastern collection upon Vever's death in 1942, see Glenn D. Lowry and Susan Nemazee, A Jeweler's Eye: Islamic Arts of the Book from the Vever Collection (Washington, DC: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1988), pp. 10-11.

Previous Owner(s)

Stéphane Bourgeois
Ducote
Henri Vever 1854 - 1942
Arthur Sambon 1867 - 1947
Léonce Rosenberg 1879 - 1947
Francois Mautin French, born 1907

Description

Album folio: A reclining prince; mounted on an album page with illuminated panels in Arabic white thuluth script; inscription on the book held by the figure.
Border: The folio is set in gold, green and black rulings mounted on a paperboard with floral and animal motifs.

Inscription(s)

In the book held by the figure: "fate granted such beauty to the face of Yusuf; try to draw such [beauty] for your face, O slave."
Top page panel: "Sura al-Bayyina [Clear proof] 98, Medina, nine verses."
Bottom page panel: "Sura al-Qadr [the Power] 97, Mecca, five verses."

Label

This composition, attributed to the celebrated painter Aqa Mirak, embodies sixteenth-century Persian ideals of beauty and sophistication. The reclining youth is dressed in sumptuous clothing and holds up an open book inscribed with a poem that establishes a literary parallel to his refinement. Written in minute characters, it refers to the legendary beauty of Yusuf, the biblical Joseph, who was considered the ideal man in Islamic mysticism.
Fate granted such beauty to the face of Yusuf
Try to draw such [beauty] for your face, O slave.

Published References
  • Philipp Walter Schulz. Die Persisch-Islamische Miniaturmalerei: Ein Beitrag zur Kunstgeschichte Irans. 2 vols, Leipzig. pl. 144.
  • Fredrik Robert Martin. The Miniature Painting and Painters of Persia, India, and Turkey from the 8th to the 18th Century. 2 vols., London. pl. 109.
  • Wilhelm von Bode Ernst Kuhnel. Vorderasiatische Knüfteppiche aus älterer Zeit. Monographien des Kunstgewerbes Leipzig. pl. 61.
  • Friedrich Paul Theodor Sarre Fredrik Robert Martin. Die Ausstellung von Meisterwerken Muhammedanischer Kunst in Muchen, 1910. 3 vols., Munich. pl. 28.
  • Armenag Sakisian. La Miniature Persane du XIIe au XVIIe siecle: Ouvrage accompagne de la reproduction de 193 miniatures dont deux en couleurs. Paris and Brussels. pl.77, fig. 138.
  • Shaykh Mushrifuddin Sa'di. The Gulistan (Rose Garden) of Sa'di. Bethesda. cover.
  • Seymour de Ricci. Catalogue d'une Collection de Miniatures Gothiques et Persanes Appartenant a Léonce Rosenberg. Paris. no. 156, p. 46.
  • Henry Corbin, Paul Pelliot, Eustache de Lorey. Les Arts de l'Iran, l'ancienne Perse, et Bagdad. Paris. cat. 66, p. 163.
  • Oleg Grabar. Masterpieces of Islamic Art: The Decorated Page from the 8th to the 17th Century., English edition. New York. p. 183, fig. 79.
  • Glenn D. Lowry Susan Nemanzee. A Jeweler's Eye: Islamic Arts of the Book from the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. cat. 65, pp. 194-195.
  • Eleanor Sims, Boris I. Marshak, Ernst Grube. Peerless Images: Persian Painting and its Sources. New Haven and London. p. 228.
  • Rene Grousset. The Civilizations of the East. 4 vols., New York and London, 1931-1934. p. 299, fig. 229.
  • Glenn D. Lowry, Milo Cleveland Beach, Elisabeth West FitzHugh, Susan Nemanzee, Janet Snyder. An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. cat. 349, p. 299.
  • Hunt for Paradise: Court Arts of Safavid Iran, 1501-1576. Exh. cat. Milan. p. 307, fig. 12.25.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Whistler's Neighborhood
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum