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verso: Man Filling a Wine Cup

Man Filling a Wine Cup

Historical period(s)
Safavid period, mid-17th century
Ink, color wash, and gold on paper
H x W (drawing): 11.3 × 8 cm (4 7/16 × 3 1/8 in)
Iran, Isfahan
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
This fine drawing on brown paper depicts a kneeling religious scholar (shaykh) holding a wine gourd in one hand and a gold cup in the other. It is framed by four lines of poetry that offer a humorous interpretation of the composition but also question the meaning of true devotion.

A shaykh who would use his tears [of repentance] for his ablutions,
Was always averse to a cup and jar [of wine].
At our gathering last evening, he created quite an uproar,
He broke our wine bottles and we his aversion to wine.

Although the composition bears the signature of Riza Abbasi, one of the most celebrated seventeenth-century Persian painters, it is probably by one of his followers. Because of Riza Abbasi's fame, many of his students added his name to their works in order to enhance their value.

To 1907
Unidentified owner, Cairo, Egypt, to 1907 [1]

From 1907 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased in Cairo, Egypt, from an unidentified owner in 1907 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See List of Persian Manuscripts and Miniatures, S.I. 1580, pg. 10, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Former owner
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
On View Location
Currently not on view
Iran, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), scholar, wine
Collection(s) Area
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

We are excited to reopen the Freer on October 7, 2017, following a renovation to allow us to better present our art and serve our visitors.
The Sackler remains open, with a full lineup of exhibitions and events both in the museum and around DC.