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"The Mi'raj or The Night Flight of Muhammad on his Steed Buraq", Folio from a Bustan of Sa`di

Sultan Muhammad Nur (ca. 1472–ca. 1536)

Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
ca. 1525–35
Geography:
present-day Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, probably Bukhara and Herat
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Ink, gold, and colors on paper
Dimensions:
Painting: H. 7 1/2 in. (19 cm) W. 5 in. (12.7 cm) Page: H. 11 in. (27.9 cm) W. 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm) Mat: H. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm) W. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Purchase, Louis V. Bell Fund and The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift, 1974
Accession Number:
1974.294.2
  • Description

    The heavenly journey of the Prophet forms a centerpiece of Muslim piety. Persian poets from the thirteenth century onward prefaced their epics with a colorful description of the mi'raj, the heavenly journey that brought the Prophet into the immediate presence of God. This miniature is particularly interesting as the Prophet is shown with his face unveiled, riding on the mysterious mount Buraq. Later pictures of Muhammad generally show him with a veil covering his face, and in more recent times even his entire body is usually symbolized by a white cloud or a rose.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: In Arabic in nasta‘liq script
    Sa’di بوستان Bustan story في نعت سید المرسلین علیه الصلوة و السلام (description of Master of messengers, prayer and peace upon him).
    (Bustān–i Sheikh Ajall Sa’dī Shīrāzī, ed. Muḥammad ‘Alī Nāṣḥi, Bunyād Nī kūkārī Nūryānī Publication, 1354/1974, p. 18).

    A.Ghouchani

  • Provenance

    [ Nasli M. Heeramaneck, New York, until 1937; sold to Kahn family]; Kahn family, by descent (1937–74; sold to MMAby E.A. Kahn, MD, Ann Arbor, MI, on behalf of his daughter Mrs. Barbara Potter, New York

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
452670

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