Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Safavid Courtiers Leading Georgian Captives

Object Name:
mid-16th century
Attributed to Iran
Silk, metal wrapped thread; lampas
Textile: L. 47 1/2 in. (120.7 cm) W. 26 1/2 in. (67.3 cm) Mount: L. 53 in. (134.6 cm) W. 32 1/8 in. (81.6 cm) D. 1 in. (2.5 cm) Wt. 31 lbs. (14.1 kg)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1952
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 462
This stunning textile is one of a group of thirteen bearing related scenes of Safavid courtiers and their captives—Georgian nobles, women, and children seized during four military campaigns between 1540 and 1553. Metal-wrapped thread was employed as an additional color in the palette. Now lost, it once embellished the captor’s shirt and horse in the top row and the costume of the captive in the middle and bottom rows.
Dikran G. Kelekian, New York (by 1907–d. 1951; his estate, New York, 1951–52;sold to MMA)
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. "Special Persian Exhibition," 1926, no. 678.

New York. Asia Society. "Hunt for Paradise: Court Arts of Safavid Iran," October 16, 2003–January 18, 2004, no. 12.3.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Persian Silks of the Safavid Period," December 9, 2003–March 14, 2004, no catalogue.

Pope, Arthur Upham. "Special Persian Exhibition." Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Museum Vol. XXII, no. 107 (November 1926). pp. 245-251.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 3rd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1958. p. 374, fig. 224.

McWilliams, Mary Anderson. "Prisoner Imagery in Safavid Textiles." The Textile Museum Journal vol. 26 (1987). p. 5, ill. fig. 5 (b/w).

Welch, Stuart Cary. The Islamic World. vol. 11. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. p. 105, ill. fig. 78 (color).

Ferrier, Ronald W., ed. The Arts of Persia. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989. p. 163, ill. pl. 19 (b/w).

Alexander, David. Furusiyya: Catalogue. vol. 2. Riyadh,Saudi Arabia: King Abdulaziz Public Library, 1996. no. 72, p. 83, ill. p. 83 (color).

Institut du Monde Arabe. Chevaux et Cavaliers Arabes dans les Arts d'Orient et d'Occident : Exposition Presentee a L'Institut du Monde Arabe. Paris: Gallimard, 2002. no. 131, p. 169, ill. (color).

Thompson, Jon, and Sheila R. Canby, ed. "Court Arts of Safavid Iran 1501–1576." In Hunt for Paradise. Milan; New York: Skira , 2003. no. 12.3, p. 274-275, ill. fig. 12.3 (color.

Hali: Carpet, Textile and Islamic Art vol. 133 (March-April 2004). p. 109, ill. (color).

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 171, pp. 172, 247, ill. p. 247 (color).

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