Album page: The Garden of Heavenly Creatures


Historical period(s)
Safavid period, mid-16th century
Ink, color wash, and gold on paper
H x W (drawing): 27.9 × 17.3 cm (11 × 6 13/16 in)
Probably Iran
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Album, Drawing

Album folio

angel, dance, garden, Iran, music, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), tree, WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Mme. Maria Louise Sarre


Set in a garden, the image depicts a group of angels, referred to as huris or paris in Persian, entertaining their queen by playing music, dancing, and serving food and wine. The drawing's lively mood echoes other Persian representations of outdoor banquets or bazm (a form of celebration with wine and music) ceremonies, with the exception that this fine drawing features heavenly creatures--a favorite subject matter in sixteenth-and seventeenth-century Iran and Turkey--instead of the princely figures seen in illustrations to lyrical poetry by Hafiz and Assar.

Published References
  • Dr. Esin Atil. The Brush of the Masters: Drawings from Iran and India. Exh. cat. Washington, 1978. cat. 13, p. 40-41.
  • Oleg Grabar. Masterpieces of Islamic Art: The Decorated Page from the 8th to the 17th Century., English edition. New York. .
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Emperors, Peris, and Demons in Near Eastern Art. Washington, November 1978. p. 144.
  • Lawrence Binyon, J.V.S. Wilkinson, Basil Gray. Persian Miniature Painting: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Miniatures Exhibited at Burlington House, January-March 1931. Exh. cat. Oxford, January - March 1931. cat. 158, p. 136.
  • Fereshteh Daftari. The Influence of "Persian Art" on Gauguin, Matisse, and Kandinsky. Ann Arbor. pp. 276, 287, fig. 139.
  • Walter B. Denny. Dating Ottoman Turkish Works in the Saz Style in Istanbul. vol. 1 Leiden. p. 114.
  • Emile Dermenghem. Mahomet et la Tradition Islamique. Bourges, France. p. 149.
  • The House of Boughs: A Sourcebook of Garden Designs, Structures, and SUpplies. New York. p. 181.
  • Ernst Kuhnel. Islamische Kleinkunst: ein Handbuch fur Sammler and Liebhaber. Bibliothek fur Kunst, 2nd ed. Braunschweig, Germany. p. 67, pl. 29.
  • Ernst Kuhnel. Miniaturmalerei im Islamischen Orient. Die Kunst des Ostens Berlin. pp. 32, 56-57, pl. 47.
  • Ernst Kuhnel. Persische Miniaturmalerei. Meisterwerke Aussereuropaischer Malerei Berlin. p. 52.
  • Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art. Exh. cat. London. cat. 499, p. 246.
  • Persian Art: An Illustrated Souvenir of the Exhibition of Persian Art at Burlington House. Exh. cat. London, January - March, 1931. pl. 31a.
  • F. R. Martin. The Miniature Painting and Painters of Persia, India, and Turkey from the 8th to the 18th Century. 2 vols., London. p. 33, pl. 57.
  • Najmieh Batmanglij. From Persia to Napa: Wine at the Persian Table. Washington. p. 38.
  • Friedrich Paul Theodor Sarre F. R. Martin. Die Ausstellung von Meisterwerken Muhammedanischer Kunst in Muchen, 1910. 3 vols., Munich. cat. 683, vol. 1, pl. 21.
  • Paula Henderson Adam Mornement. Treehouses. London. p. 43, fig. 31.
  • Armenag Sakisian. La Miniature Persane du XIIe au XVIIe siecle: Ouvrage accompagne de la reproduction de 193 miniatures dont deux en couleurs. Paris and Brussels. pp. 81-82, pl. 61.
  • Friedrich Paul Theodor Sarre Mme. Maria Sarre. Katalog der Austellung im Stadelschen Kunstinstitut. Frankfurt am Main. .
  • Philipp Walter Schulz. Die Persisch-Islamische Miniaturmalerei: Ein Beitrag zur Kunstgeschichte Irans. 2 vols, Leipzig. pl. 72.
  • Josef Strzygowski. Asiatische Miniaturemalerei im Anschluss an Wesen und Werden der Mogulmalerei. Klagenfurt, Austria. pl. 72, ill. 200.
  • Donald N. White. Persian Gardens and Garden Pavilions. Tokyo and Rutland, VT. p. 47, fig. 16.
  • Edwin M. Wright. The Horse in Middle Eastern Symbolism. vol. 6, no. 8, September - October 1966. p. 18.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum