Folio from a Khamsa (Quintet) by Nizami (d. 1209); recto: illuminated text: The story of Nushirwan and his vizier; verso: Nushirwan listens to the owls

citation

Detached folio from a dispersed copy of Khamsa (Quintet) by Nizami; text: Persian in black nasta’liq script; recto: illuminated text:The story of Nushirwan and his vizier, four columns, thirteen lines; verso: illustration and text: Nushirwan listens to the owls.
Border: The text and the painting are set in gold, green, and red rulings on gold-sprinkled paper.

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Maker(s)
Author: Nizami (1145 - 1207)
Historical period(s)
Safavid period, circa 1525
Medium
Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 30 x 19.9 cm (11 13/16 x 7 13/16 in)
Geography
Iran, Tabriz
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Henri Vever collection
Accession Number
S1986.214
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Detached manuscript folio

Keywords
Henri Vever collection, illumination, Iran, owl, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To 1914
Georges Demotte (1877-1923), Paris, France. [1]

From 1914 to 1942
Henri Vever (1854-1942), Paris and Noyers, France, purchased from Georges Demotte (1877-1923), Paris, France on June 6, 1914. [2]

From 1942 to 1986
Family member, Paris and Boulogne, France, by inheritance from Henri Vever, Paris and Noyers, France. [3]

From 1986
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, purchased from a family member, Paris and Boulogne, France. [4]

Notes:

[1] See Susan Nemazee, "Appendix 7: Chart of Recent Provenance" in An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection, Glenn D. Lowry et al (Washington, D.C.: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1988), p. 406. See also Glen D. Lowry and Susan Nemazee, "Appendix 2: Ledger of Acquisitions, 1894 and 1907-17" in A Jeweler’s Eye: Islamic Arts of the Book from the Vever Collection (Washington, D.C.: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1988), p. 235.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See the Agreement for the Purchase and Sale of the Henri Vever Collection of January 9, 1986, Collections Management Office.

[4] See note 3.

Previous Owner(s)

Francois Mautin French, born 1907
Henri Vever 1854 - 1942
Georges Demotte 1877 - 1923

Description

Detached folio from a dispersed copy of Khamsa (Quintet) by Nizami; text: Persian in black nasta'liq script; recto: illuminated text:The story of Nushirwan and his vizier, four columns, thirteen lines; verso: illustration and text: Nushirwan listens to the owls.
Border: The text and the painting are set in gold, green, and red rulings on gold-sprinkled paper.

Label

The fine pigments, minute details, elegant lines, and well-drawn figures of this work are typical of early Safavid painting associated with the court of Shah Tahmasp (r. 1524-76) at Tabriz. The story of the Sasanian king Nushirwan and his vizier happening upon a ruined village in which two owls are hooting at each other is from the Makhzan al-asrar, the first poem in Nizami's Quintet.

Published References
  • 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. 250, p. 222.
  • Glenn D. Lowry Susan Nemanzee. A Jeweler's Eye: Islamic Arts of the Book from the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. cat. 45, pp. 152-153.
  • Abolala Soudavar Milo Cleveland Beach. Art of the Persian Court: Selections from the Art and History Trust Collection. New York. cat. 31, p. 300.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum