Art/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

The Old man and the Youth

Artist:
Painting by Riza-yi `Abbasi (Persian, ca. 1565–1635)
Calligrapher:
Nur al-Din Muhammad Lahiji
Object Name:
Illustrated single work
Date:
second quarter 17th century
Geography:
Attributed to Iran, Isfahan
Medium:
Ink, transparent and opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
5 in. high 2.12 in. wide (12.7 cm high 5.4 cm wide)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1925
Accession Number:
25.68.5
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 462
Mounted on an album page below a calligraphy signed by Nur al-Din Muhammad Lahiji, these two drawings form a single composition depicting an old man dressed as a dervish pursuing a youth with a wine bottle and cup. Although the drawings are ascribed to Riza-yi 'Abbasi, the quality of line here is more rigid and less sure than that of the master. The image of an old man yearning for a youth finds parallels in Persian mystical poetry. The line of poetry above the drawings refers to the virtue of a young male on the verge of manhood, but may be an ironic reference to the youth in the drawing.
Signature: "Drawn by the very humble Riza 'Abbasi"

Inscription: The poetry at the top is a hemistich of a couplet. Translated literally, it reads, "Your green line that is the sign of virtue." The "green line" refers to the shadow that appears at the upper-lip of a girl when she begins to mature. Thus, the verse somewhat comically refers to a girl's entry into womanhood. The author or literary work from which the verse was taken is unknown.
[ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, until 1925; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Persian Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 13, 1989–December 31, 1989, no. 32.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Mohammedan Decorative Arts. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1930. pp. 1(?), 48, ill. fig. 20 (b/w).

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 54, ill. fig. 29 (b/w).

Ferrier, Ronald W., ed. The Arts of Persia. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989. pp. 216-217, ill. pl. 35 (b/w).

Swietochowski, Marie, and Sussan Babaie. Persian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989. no. 32, pp. 74-75, ill. pl. 32 (b/w).

Yarshater, Ehsan, ed. Encyclopaedia Iranica vol. 7 (1996). p. 544, ill. pl. XLI (b/w).



Related Objects

Portrait of a Man

Artist: Attributed to Riza-yi `Abbasi (Persian, ca. 1565–1635) Date: ca. 1600 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 13.228.36 On view in:Not on view

Man in a Long-sleeved Coat

Artist: Riza-yi `Abbasi (Persian, ca. 1565–1635) Date: ca. 1598 Medium: Ink on paper Accession: 25.83.8 On view in:Not on view

Man in a Fur-Lined Coat

Artist: Painting by Riza-yi `Abbasi (Persian, ca. 1565–1635) Date: ca. 1600 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 55.121.39 On view in:Gallery 462

The Lovers

Artist: Painting by Riza-yi `Abbasi (Persian, ca. 1565–1635) Date: dated A.H. 1039/ A.D. 1630 Medium: Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper Accession: 50.164 On view in:Not on view

Study of a Bird

Artist: Painting by Riza-yi `Abbasi (Persian, ca. 1565–1635) Date: dated A.H. 1043/A.D. 1634 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper Accession: 1985.2 On view in:Not on view