Bearded man leans on stick

Detached album folio; Bearded man leans on stick.
Border: The tinted drawing is set in a gold-sprinkled inner frame mounted on a black border with floral and animal motifs and calligraphy panels in Persian white nasta’liq script.

Historical period(s)
Safavid period, ca. 1590s
Medium
Ink and color wash on paper
Dimensions
H x W (image): 33.7 x 22.8 cm (13 1/4 x 9 in)
Geography
Iran
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1986.312
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Album, Drawing
Type

Detached Album folio

Keywords
Henri Vever collection, Iran, man, nasta'liq script, portrait, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), WWII-era provenance
Provenance

From at least 1910
Léonce Rosenberg (1879-1947), Paris, from at least 1910 [1]

To 1942
Henri Vever (1854-1942), Paris and Noyers, France, to 1942 [2]

From 1942 to 1986
Family member, Paris and Boulogne, France, by inheritance from Henri Vever, Paris and Noyers, France [3]

From 1986
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, purchased from a family member, Paris and Boulogne, France [4]

Notes:

[1] The object is documented as having appeared in the collection of Léonce Rosenberg by at least July 21, 1910. 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 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), pp. 298, 320-321, no. 374.

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

[4] See note 3.

Previous Owner(s)

Henri Vever 1854-1942
Léonce Rosenberg 1879-1947
Francois Mautin French, born 1907

Description

Detached album folio; Bearded man leans on stick.
Border: The tinted drawing is set in a gold-sprinkled inner frame mounted on a black border with floral and animal motifs and calligraphy panels in Persian white nasta'liq script.

Label

This haunting image of an elderly, turbaned figure conforms to a well-known type in Safavid single-page compositions. Although his carefully modeled face, aquiline nose, and piercing gaze distinguish him from similar works, it remains unclear whether the drawing represents an actual or imaginary portrait. The verses in the border claim: 

 Your black eyes are the affliction of the viewers, 
 Your eyebrows are as mysteriously fascinating as the 
 halo around the moon, 
 You should not only claim the moon's beauty:
 This tale is better known than the sun.

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. p. 87.
  • Glenn D. Lowry, Susan Nemanzee. A Jeweler's Eye: Islamic Arts of the Book from the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. cat. 71, pp. 206-207.
  • 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. 374, pp. 298, 320-321.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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