Ornamental brush drawings with lush foliage bearing a variety of human figures, animals, masks, heads, and often, though not here, mythological beasts first appeared in the Jalayrid court in the late fourteenth century. The genre flourished in the Timurid period in Herat when this drawing appears to have been made, as indicated by the figure style. The tradition later made its way to the Ottoman court in Istanbul where it continued with exceptional vigor. While all of them rely on a strongly calligraphic basis for the design, those of the Timurid period were executed with particular finesse.
[ Dikran G. Kelekian, New York, until 1941; 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. 1.
Swietochowski, Marie, and Sussan Babaie. Persian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989. no. 1, pp. 12-13, ill. pl. 1 (b/w).