"Shaikh San'an and the Christian Maiden", Folio 22v from a Mantiq al-Tair (Language of the Birds)

Author: Farid al-Din `Attar (ca. 1142–1220)

Object Name: Folio from an illustrated manuscript

Date: ca. 1600

Geography: Attributed to Iran, Isfahan

Medium: Opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper

Dimensions: Painting: H. 7 3/8 in. (18.7 cm)
W. 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm)
Page: H. 12 7/8 in. (32.7 cm)
W. 8 5/16 in. (21.1 cm)
Mat: H. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm)
W. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)

Classification: Codices

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1963

Accession Number: 63.210.22


On the way back to Greece, Shaikh San’an found that the Christian maiden had collapsed in the street. She then recovered consciousness. The text on the folio describes the last dialogue with Shaikh San’an right before her last breath: she apologizes to him and bids him farewell. In this illustration, the Christian maiden addresses her last words to Shaikh San’an as she lies in his arms and his disciples gaze in astonishment at the scene.