The Mashhad pilgrim

citation

Maker(s)
Artist: Riza Abbasi (ca. 1565-1635)
Historical period(s)
Safavid period, 1598
Medium
Ink on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 11.7 x 7.1 cm (4 5/8 x 2 13/16 in)
Geography
Iran, Mashhad
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1953.12
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Drawing
Type

Drawing

Keywords
Iran, pilgrimage, portrait, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Mme. Maria Louise Sarre

Label

The spontaneously drawn portrait presents a striking contrast to Riza's highly formal and idealized depiction of Lady with a Fan. A detailed inscription, a feature on many of the artist's single-page compositions, states that, "it [the drawing] was completed at the end of Friday, the 10th of Muharram 1007 [13 August 1598] at the dawlat-khana in the company of friends, especially, Mirza Khawjagi, may God keep him safe. Written by Riza."
Muharram, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, was a popular time for pilgrimages, especially to Mashhad, the burial site of Imam Riza, the eighth Shi`ite imam (prophet). The figure, who has momentarily removed his turban to scratch his head, was probably one of the many pilgrims the artist met during his stay in Mashhad. Keenly observant, Riza Abbasi has masterfully captured his subject's weariness and discomfort, creating one of the most poignant portraits of sixteenth-century Iran.

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

Copyright with museum

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