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Manuscript; Divan-i Khata'i (Collected poems) by Shah Isma'il I (r. 1501-1524); Turkish in black nasta'liq script; illuminated headings in white; 50 folios with 3 paintings (2recto, 23verso, 24recto); standard page: 2 columns, 12 lines of text.
Binding: The manuscript was originally bound in brown leather over paper pasteboards with gilt block-stamped designs on the exterior covers and doublures of marbled paper, the binding has been removed, the manuscript is now bound in brown leather over paper pasteboards stamped with the name of Vever with doublures of paper. The upper and lower covers both have a border of multiple fillets.
Folio 23verso: Inscribed on castle walls: "Founder of the Sultanate, the greatest sultan and most just, most noble emperor, liege lord of the kings of the Arabs and Persians, layer of the foundations of justice and munificence, spreader of the carpet of safety and security, Abu'l-Muzaffar Shah Isma'il Bahadur Khan."
This early sixteenth-century painting illustrates a verse by Shah Isma'il, the founder of the Safavid dynasty in Iran (reigned 1501-24). Like many Persian poets, Shah Isma'il, who used the pen name Khata'i, relies on garden imagery to describe the physical and spiritual attributes of a beloved, who is never mentioned. The verse reads as follows:
I have never seen anyone so beautiful as you on the earth, never in this world anyone as gorgeous as you.
Truly within the garden of the soul there can be
no gesture so elegant as your tall erect cypress.
Although there are many beauties among humanity,
there is none, O Beauty, so radiant as you.
- Published References
- Asia Inside Out: Changing Times. .
- Joseph Allen Boone. The Homoerotics of Orientalism. New York. .
- Sheila Blair. Text and Image in Medieval Persian Art. Edinburgh Studies in Islamic Art Edinburgh. .
- Oleg Grabar. Masterpieces of Islamic Art: The Decorated Page from the 8th to the 17th Century., English edition. New York. .
- W. M. Thackston. The Divan of Kata'i: Pictures for the Poetry of Shah Isma'il I. vol. 1, no. 4 New York. pp. 42,47,50,52, figs. 1-4.
- Hunt for Paradise: Court Arts of Safavid Iran, 1501-1576. Exh. cat. Milan. pp. 50, 80, figs. 3.3, 4.5.
- Glenn D. Lowry Susan Nemanzee. A Jeweler's Eye: Islamic Arts of the Book from the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. cat. 28, pp. 56, 119, fig. 26.
- 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. 168, pp. 136-138.
- Dr. Massumeh Farhad Serpil Bagci. Falnama: The Book of Omens. Exh. cat. Washington, October 24, 2009 - January 24, 2010. pp. 246-247, fig 9.1.
- Collection Area(s)
- Arts of the Islamic World
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
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