A manuscript often opened with an 'unwan, a sumptuous double-page composition framing columns of text. To begin this imperial album, text from a treatise on calligraphy by Mir 'Ali, the celebrated penman of the early sixteenth-century Timurid court of Herat, was pasted onto a folio and decorated with several borders of lavish illumination. The writing itself is surrounded with cloudlike bubbles, around which miniature irises, lilies, and other plants bloom.
Jack S. Rofe, Scotland (in 1929; sale, Sotheby's London,December 12, 1929, to Kevorkian); [ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, from 1929]; [ Kevorkian Foundation, New York, until 1955; gift and sale to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Emperor's Album: Images of Mughal India," October 21, 1987–February 14, 1988, nos. 2 and 4.
Welch, Stuart Cary, Annemarie Schimmel, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, and Wheeler M. Thackston. The Emperors' Album: Images of Mughal India. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. nos. 2, 4, pp. 82, 84-87, ill., verso pl. 4 (color); recto pl. 2 (color).