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Man with Prayer Beads

Painting by Muhammad `Ali
Object Name:
Illustrated single work
mid-17th century
Iran, Isfahan
Ink, transparent and opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
H. 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm) W. 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Alexander Smith Cochran, 1913
Accession Number:
Not on view
In the mid-seventeenth century, followers of the famous Riza-yi 'Abbasi continued his practice of producing drawings of single figures in a landscape for inclusion in albums. The jutting rocks, heavily drawn leafy plants, and delicate quality of line differ from Riza’s lighter, more subtle draftsmanship. This figure portrayed fingering his prayer beads may be a sufi, or mystic, or may simply be reciting prayers or the ninety-nine names of God.
Marking: Inscribed Muhammad 'Ali
Alexander Smith Cochran, Yonkers, NY (until 1913; gifted to MMA)
Swietochowski, Marie, and Sussan Babaie. Persian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989. no. 31, pp. 72-73, ill. pl. 31 (b/w).

Petrosyan, Yuri A., Marie Lukens Swietochowski, Stefano Carboni, Oleg F. Akimushkin, Anas B. Khalidov, and Efim A. Rezvan. "Islamic Paintings and Calligraphy from the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg." In Pages of Perfection. Lugano, Switzerland: Arch Foundation, 1995. p. 104, ill. fig. 12 (color).

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