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recto: "Portrait of Prince Danyal", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album

Artist:
Painting by Manohar (active ca. 1582–1624)
Calligrapher:
Sultan 'Ali al-Mashhadi (active late 15th–early 16th century)
Object Name:
Album leaf
Date:
recto: late 16th century; verso: ca. 1500
Geography:
India
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
H. 15 5/16 in. (38.9 cm) W. 10 1/4 in. (26 cm)
Classification:
Miscellaneous
Credit Line:
Purchase, Rogers Fund and The Kevorkian Foundation Gift, 1955
Accession Number:
55.121.10.32
Not on view
verso: This richly illuminated folio of calligraphy features the work of the preeminent Timurid calligrapher, Sultan 'Ali Mashhadi. Patronized by the Timurid court, Mashhadi was a poet and a recognized master of the nasta'liq script. In the following poem, composed by Khwaja Salman al-Savuji, he writes:
Coil up in your own tress
And then ask how I am,
How those are whom the snare
Of your affliction broke:
You want to know how all
Those broken lovers fare–
Then ask me first, for I
Am the most broken one.
This love poem belongs to a larger tradition of mystical poetry in which the lover longs for the unattainable object of his affections. His lover's tresses ensnare him and, hopelessly caught, the poet mourns his plight.
Signature: 55.121.10.32 verso:
In Persian, in lower left corner triangle: Jotted down by Sultan 'Ali al-Mashhadi.

Inscription: 55.121.10.32 recto:
In Persian, along right border (in Jahangir's hand): A portrait of my late brother Danyal - it is quite like him.
In Persian, under portrait (in Jahangir's hand): Drawing by Manohar.

Verso:

“By Khwaja Salman, may God’s mercy be upon him
In your curls seek and ask how I am
Ask about those broken by the snare of misfortune
Ask about all the broken ones
Then ask me first, for I am the most broken-hearted one [of them all].
Written by Sultan-‘Ali Mashhadi”

-Translated by M. Ekhtiar (E.Chardakliyska, 6/11)

Marking: 55.121.10.32 recto:
Margin number '52' is inscribed in the gilt margin.
Jack S. Rofe, Scotland (in 1929; sale, Sotheby's London,December 12, 1929, no. 124, to Kevorkian); [ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, from 1929]; [ Kevorkian Foundation, New York, until 1955; gift and sale to MMA]
Sotheby's: Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures. London: Sotheby's, New York, 1929. no. 124.

Welch, Stuart Cary, Annemarie Schimmel, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, and Wheeler M. Thackston. The Emperors' Album: Images of Mughal India. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. nos. 17, 18, pp. 112-115, ill., verso pl. 17 (b/w); recto pl. 18 (color).

Okada, Amina. Imperial Mughal Painters: Indian Miniatures from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Paris: Flammarion, 1992. p. 144, ill. fig. 166 (b/w), recto.

Ekhtiar, Maryam, and Claire Moore, ed. "A Resource for Educators." In Art of the Islamic World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. pp. 70-71, ill. pl. 10 55.121.10, (55.121.10.32v).



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