Folio from the Silsilat al-dhahab (Chain of gold) in the Haft awrang (Seven thrones) by Jami (d. 1492); recto: A father advises his son about love; verso: text

citation

Folio from the Silsilat al-dhahab (Chain of gold) second daftar from the Haft awrang (Seven thrones) by Jami; text: Persian in black nasta’liq script; recto: A father advises his son about love; verso: text, illuminated heading in red, gold column dividers, four columns, twenty-one lines of text; one of a group of 304 folios.
Border: The recto is set in multicolored rulings on cream-colored paper with gold floral motifs; the verso is set in multicolored rulings stenciled in pink, outlined in gold.

Maker(s)
Calligrapher: Malik al-Daylami
Historical period(s)
Safavid period, 1556-1565
Medium
Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 34.2 x 23.2 cm (13 7/16 x 9 1/8 in)
Geography
Iran
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1946.12.52
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Manuscript folio

Keywords
bird, chess, fountain, garden, Haft awrang, illumination, India, lute, nasta'liq script, percussion instrument, poems, reed instrument, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To 1946
Hagop Kevorkian (1872-1962), New York. [1]

From 1946
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Hagop Kevorkian, New York. [2]

Notes:

[1] Object file, undated folder sheet note. See also, Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920, Collections Management Office.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Hagop Kevorkian 1872 - 1962

Description

Folio from the Silsilat al-dhahab (Chain of gold) second daftar from the Haft awrang (Seven thrones) by Jami; text: Persian in black nasta'liq script; recto: A father advises his son about love; verso: text, illuminated heading in red, gold column dividers, four columns, twenty-one lines of text; one of a group of 304 folios.
Border: The recto is set in multicolored rulings on cream-colored paper with gold floral motifs; the verso is set in multicolored rulings stenciled in pink, outlined in gold.

Inscription(s)

Back wall of the iwan, right-hand side: "May my grief..."
Back wall of the iwan, left-hand side: "I have written on the door and wall of every house about the grief of my love for you/
that perhaps you might pass by one day and read the explanation of my condition"
"In my heart I had his face before me/
with this face before me I saw that which I had in my heart"

Label

The Haft awrang (Seven thrones), by Jami, is considered one of the masterpieces of Persian literature. Divided into seven poems (thrones), the language is rich in metaphorical imagery and mystical symbols that lend themselves to a variety of interpretations. This painting, from the celebrated copy of Jami's poem in the Freer Gallery of Art, illustrates an anecdote relating to the true meaning of love.

Set in a carefully tended and bustling garden, a father and son are seated under the shade of a large plane tree, discussing the difference between physical and spiritual love. Just to their left, another elegantly dressed young man and his older companion are deeply immersed in a game of chess, a long-established literary and artistic metaphor for the vagaries of human life, in particular the relationship of the lover and the beloved. The detailed rendering of the red chessboard and its prominent placement in the composition underscore both the significance of the interchange between father and son and the distinction between physical and spiritual qualities.

Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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