Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Woman Applying Henna

Object Name:
Album leaf
late 16th century
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
14 7/16 x 9in. (36.7 x 22.9cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1955
Accession Number:
Not on view
This painting is a rare depiction of a young woman applying henna to her feet, a ritual associated with rite of passage celebrations, specifically marriage, in Iran and surrounding regions. The subject chosen by this unknown artist reflects the increasing interest of Safavid painters of this period in depictions of everyday people and events. The sitter’s right foot rests on a pile of henna leaves, her garments falling back slightly to reveal her gold and gray undergarments. The illustration would have been included in an album of paintings and drawings.
Inscription: The signature on the back of the image reads: "The sinner 'Imad al-Hasani. May God forgive his sins."

In Persian langauge and in Nast’liq scrip part of poem of Shāhnma of Ferdowsī, story گفتار اندر خان پنجم و کشتن اسفندیار سیمرغ را (speech regarding the fifth joust and death of Simurgh by the hand of ᾽Isfandiyār)

(Abu’l-Qasim Feardowsi,The Shāhnāmeh (The book of kings), ed, Djalal Khalqi- Muṭlagh, Mazda publishers in association with Bibliotheca Persica, Costa Mesa, California and New York, 1997, vol.5, p243).

Jack S. Rofe, Scotland (until 1929; his sale, Sotheby's, London, December 12, 1929, no. 457); [ E. Beghian, London, in 1931]; [ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, by 1935]; [ Kevorkian Foundation, New York, by 1953–55; sold to MMA]
Binyon, Laurence, James Vere Stewart Wilkinson, and Basil Gray. Persian Miniature Painting. London: Oxford University Press, no. 274.

Wilson, Arnold T. "7th January to 28th February, 1931." In Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art. 3rd. ed. London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1931. no. 677.

Ackerman, Phyllis. "The Iranian Institute, New York." In Guide to the Exhibition of Persian Art. 2nd. ed. New York: The Iranian Institute, 1940. no. Gallery VII, case 102B, p. 208.

"Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York." In The Arts of Islam. Berlin, 1981. no. 80, pp. 198-199, ill. p. 199 (b/w).

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. 146, pp. 173, 219, ill. p. 219 (color).

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