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: Reclining prince

Reclining prince

Type
Detached album folio
Maker(s)
Artist: Attributed to Aqa Mirak
Historical period(s)
Safavid period, ca. 1530
Medium
Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper
Dimension(s)
H x W (image): 33.6 x 21.2 cm (13 1/4 x 8 3/8 in)
Geography
Iran, Tabriz
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1986.300
Description
Album folio: A reclining prince; mounted on an album page with illuminated panels in Arabic white thuluth script; inscription on the book held by the figure.
Border: The folio is set in gold, green and black rulings mounted on a paperboard with floral and animal motifs.

In the book held by the figure: "fate granted such beauty to the face of Yusuf; try to draw such [beauty] for your face, O slave."
Top page panel: "Sura al-Bayyina [Clear proof] 98, Medina, nine verses."
Bottom page panel: "Sura al-Qadr [the Power] 97, Mecca, five verses."

Label
This composition, attributed to the celebrated painter Aqa Mirak, embodies sixteenth-century Persian ideals of beauty and sophistication. The reclining youth is dressed in sumptuous clothing and holds up an open book inscribed with a poem that establishes a literary parallel to his refinement. Written in minute characters, it refers to the legendary beauty of Yusuf, the biblical Joseph, who was considered the ideal man in Islamic mysticism.

Fate granted such beauty to the face of Yusuf
Try to draw such [beauty] for your face, O slave.

From at least 1910
Stéphane Bourgeois, from at least 1910 [1]

From at least 1912
Ducote, from at least 1912 [2]

Arthur Sambon (1867-1947), Paris [3]

From at least 1913
Léonce Rosenberg (1879-1947), Paris, from at least 1913 [4]

To 1942
Henri Vever (1854-1942), Paris and Noyers, France, to 1942 [5]

From 1942 to 1986
Family member, Paris and Boulogne, France, by inheritance from Henri Vever, Paris and Noyers, France [6]

From 1986
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, purchased from a family member, Paris and Boulogne, France [7]

Notes:

[1] See Susan Nemazee, "Appendix 7: Chart of Recent Provenance" in An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection, Glenn D. Lowry et al (Washington, D.C.: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1988), p. 409.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See note 1.

[4] The object is documented as having appeared in the collection of Léonce Rosenberg by at least May 26, 1913. See note 1.

[5] See Glenn D. Lowry et al., An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection (Washington, D.C.: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1988), p. 299, no. 349.

[6] See the Agreement for the Purchase and Sale of the Henri Vever Collection of January 9, 1986, Collections Management Office.

[7] See note 6.




[6] François Mautin, grandson of Henri Vever, inherited Vever's Near Eastern collection upon Vever's death in 1942, see Glenn D. Lowry and Susan Nemazee, A Jeweler's Eye: Islamic Arts of the Book from the Vever Collection (Washington, D.C.: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1988), pp. 10-11.

Former owner
Stéphane Bourgeois
Ducote
Arthur Sambon (1867 - 1947)
Léonce Rosenberg (1879 - 1947)
Henri Vever (1854 - 1942)
Francois Mautin
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Album, Painting
Keyword(s)
book, Henri Vever collection, Iran, prince, Qur'an, reading, Safavid period (1501 - 1722)
Collection(s) Area
Arts of the Islamic World

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum






The Freer is closed for renovation and reopening in 2017. The Sackler remains open, with a full lineup of exhibitions and events both in the museum and around DC.