Folio from a Divan (collected poems) by Sultan Ahmad Jalayir (d.1410); Angels amidst clouds; recto: text

citation

Detached folio from a Divan (Collected poems) by Sultan Ahmad Jalayir; text: Persian in black nasta’liq script; headings in Arabic in gold, red and blue nasta’liq; recto: text, two columns, 13 lines, 46 lines of marginal text; verso: Angels amidst clouds, two columns, 14 lines; one of a group of 9: the manuscript, its separated cover (F 1932.29), and 7 detached folios (F1932.30-32, F1932.34-37) are accessioned separately.

Historical period(s)
Jalayirid dynasty, Mongol period, ca.1400
Medium
Ink, color and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 29.5 x 20.2 cm (11 5/8 x 7 15/16 in)
Geography
Iraq, Baghdad
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1932.33
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Detached manuscript folio

Keywords
angel, cloud, divan, Iraq, Jalayirid dynasty (1340 - 1432), Mongol period (1220 - 1380)
Provenance

To 1932
Dr. Jacob Hirsch, New York to 1932 [1]

From 1932
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Dr. Jacob Hirsch, New York in 1932 [2]

Notes:

[1] Object file, undated folder sheet note.

[2] See note 1. Also see Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file, Collections Management Office. For further information in connection with this purchase see letter to Dr. Hirsch written by M. Aga-Oglu, January 4, 1932, Letter File (Hirsch).

Previous Owner(s)

Dr. Jacob Hirsch 1874? - 1955

Description

Detached folio from a Divan (Collected poems) by Sultan Ahmad Jalayir; text: Persian in black nasta'liq script; headings in Arabic in gold, red and blue nasta'liq; recto: text, two columns, 13 lines, 46 lines of marginal text; verso: Angels amidst clouds, two columns, 14 lines; one of a group of 9: the manuscript, its separated cover (F 1932.29), and 7 detached folios (F1932.30-32, F1932.34-37) are accessioned separately.

Label

Some of the earliest and finest ink drawings from the Islamic world date from the late fourteenth century and appear in the celebrated Divan of Sultan Ahmad, the last ruler of the Jalayirid dynasty, which controlled western Iran and Iraq during the latter part of the fourteenth century.

Unlike most illustrated manuscripts, the compositions in the Divan, such as Angels Amidst Clouds, appear in the margins of the text. Executed with a brush, the work is remarkable for its cascading gold clouds anchored by graceful heavenly creatures. Although the scene does not relate directly to the nearest verses, it evokes the lyrical mood and mystically inspired concepts of Sultan Ahmad's poetry. It has been proposed that Angels Amidst Clouds represents one of the stages in the spiritual quest for the divine. Referred to as the Valley of Astonishment, this stage is described as a place where neither man nor beast lives.

Published References
  • Dr. Esin Atil. The Brush of the Masters: Drawings from Iran and India. Exh. cat. Washington, 1978. cat. 4, p. 23.
  • Deborah E. Klimberg Salter. A Sufi Theme in Persian Painting: The Diwan of Sultan Ahmad Gala in the Freer Gallery of Art. vol. 11 Wiesbaden, 1976-1977. pp. 43-84, fig. 6.
  • F. R. Martin Sir Thomas W. Arnold. Miniatures from the Period of Timur: In an MS. of the Poems of Sultan Ahmad Jalair. Vienna. p. 12, pl. 4.
  • Verna Russillo Prentice. A Detached Miniature from the Masnavis of Khwaju Kermani. vol. 27, no. 1, Spring 1981. pp. 64-66, fig. 6.
  • Tomoko Masuya. Illuminations for the Divan of Sultan Ahmad Jalayir. 1428 Tokyo, 2014. p. 15, fig. 5.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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