Calligraphy from the Late Shahjahan Album

Maker(s)
Calligrapher: Mir-Ali al-Sultani
Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, Reign of Shah Jahan, 1640-1660
Movement
Mughal Court
School
Mughal School
Medium
Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper mounted on paperboard
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 37.1 x 25.3 cm (14 5/8 x 9 15/16 in)
Geography
India
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1986.91
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Detached manuscript folio

Keywords
Henri Vever collection, India, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), nasta'liq script, Reign of Shah Jahan (1628 - 1658), WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

Folios of calligraphy destined for Shah-Jahan's imperial albums received lavish attention. For instance, the lines of poetry in this example have been set in gold, studded with floral motifs.  Finely rendered flowers--among them tulips, narcissi, poppies--fill the outer margins. Outlined in gold, they resemble precious gemstones in individual settings, meant to enhance the beauty and sumptuousness of the folio as a whole.

Published References
  • Pratapaditya Pal. Romance of the Taj Mahal. Exh. cat. Los Angeles and London. pp. 105, 108.
  • 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. 341, pp. 289-290.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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