Assembly of Four Sufis

Object Name: Illustrated single work

Date: late 19th–early 20th century

Geography: Attributed to Iran

Medium: Ink, watercolor, and gold on paper

Dimensions: 9.12 in. high 5.75 in. wide (23.2 cm high 14.6 cm wide)

Classification: Codices

Credit Line: Gift of Charles K. and Irma B. Wilkinson, 1979

Accession Number: 1979.461


The Qajar-era interest in subjects and styles borrowed from earlier periods is well illustrated in this drawing of a group of men gathered in a natural setting. Thematically this piece can be linked to a group of late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century works depicting scenes of outdoor entertainment and conversation. The careful attention given to the finished rendering of the head—as against the simplified outline drawing of the bodies and robes—is also characteristic of this genre of drawings. In the nineteenth century, however, the choice of this style with caricaturized facial features may suggest a novel use of drawings for the purpose of satire.