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"A Muslim Pilgrim Learns a Lesson in Piety from a Brahman", Folio from a Khamsa (Quintet) of Amir Khusrau Dihlavi

Poet:
Amir Khusrau Dihlavi (1253–1325)
Calligrapher:
Muhammad Husain Kashmiri (active ca. 1560–1611)
Artist:
Painting by Basawan (Indian, active ca. 1556–1600)
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
1597–98
Geography:
India
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Image: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Margins: Gold on dyed paper
Dimensions:
H. 9 7/8 in. (25.1 cm) W. 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Gift of Alexander Smith Cochran, 1913
Accession Number:
13.228.29
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 463
The Khamsa (Quintet) of the Indian poet Amir Khusrau Dihlavi localizes its model, the Khamsa of Nizami, by rooting several of the stories in an Indian idiom. Likewise, the illustrations made for Akbar’s (r. 1556–1605) copy are set in typically Indian landscapes. Here, a Muslim pilgrim to Mecca meets a Brahman who travels to a Hindu temple by inching his way in a series of prostrations. Impressed by this religious zeal, the Muslim removes his own shoes and continues on his way barefoot.
Inscription: Inscribed in Persian in nasta‘liq script:
گفت چو دل در ره بت باختم
پا برهش نیز ز دل ساختم

[He] said his heart is lost to his idol, my heart took a step on his path

Signature in Persian in nasta‘liq script at bottom left-hand corner of frame:
عمل پساون

Work of Basawan
Alexander Smith Cochran, Yonkers, NY (until 1913; gifted to MMA)
Aga-Oglu, Mehmet. "M. H. De Young Memorial Museum, February 24 to March 22, 1937." In Exhibition of Islamic Art. San Francisco, 1937. no. 85, p. 35, ill. pl. 85.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Mohammedan Decorative Arts. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1930. p. 59, ill. fig. 24 (b/w).

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 61, ill. fig. 33 (b/w).

Welch, Stuart Cary. The Art of Mughal India : Painting and Precious Objects. An Asia House Gallery publication. New York: Asia Society, 1963. no. 8A, pp. 26-27, 163, ill. pl. 8A (b/w).

Khandalavala, Karl, and Moti Chandra, ed. "Journal of Oriental Art Chiefly Indian." Lalit Kala vols. 9-10 (1961). ill. fig. 4.

Papadopoulo, Alexandre. Islam and Muslim Art. Paris, 1976. no. 557.

Beach, Milo C., Eberhard Fischer, and B.N. Goswamy. Masters of Indian Painting. Vol. Vols. I, II. Zurich, Switzerland: Artibus Asiae Publishers, 2011. vol. I, p. 121.

Blair, Sheila S., and Jonathan M. Bloom. The Art and Architecture of Islam 1250-1800. Yale University Press Pelican History of art. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994. p. 292, ill. fig. 367 (b/w).

Okada, Amina. Indian Miniatures of the Mughal Court. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1992. ill. fig. 96.

Okada, Amina. Imperial Mughal Painters: Indian Miniatures from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Paris: Flammarion, 1992. p. 93, ill. fig. 96 (b/w).

Seyller, John. "The Walters Art Museum Khamsa of Amir Khusraw of Delhi." In Pearls of the Parrot of India.. Baltimore, MD: Walters Art Museum, 2001. no. I, pp. 46-47, ill. fig. 4 (color).

Brend, Barbara. "Illustrations to Amir Khusrau's Khamsa." In Perspectives on Persian Painting. New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003. pp. 198, 226-38, pp. 48, 264.

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 247A, pp. 339, 352-354, ill. p. 253 (color).

Guy, John, and Jorrit Britschgi. Wonder of the Age: Master Painters of India 1100–1900. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 12, pp. 42, 48, ill. p. 48 (color).



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