The style and subject of this work are emblematic of the master painter Riza, who is best known for his paintings of languorous youths. The curving body of the young man, his delicately painted curls, and the garden setting are all typical of Riza’s work in the early seventeenth century. His style and subjects reflect the taste of Shah 'Abbas’ court at Isfahan, which was renowned for its luxurious palaces and gardens, and attracted visitors from all over the world. The painting is signed below the figure and to the right of the fruit: "Riza drew it."
Signature: Signature in Persian in nasta‘liq script below figure’s left knee:
Riza drew it
Inscription: Signature in Persian in nasta‘liq script below figure’s left knee: مشقه رضا Riza drew it
Jack S. Rofe, Scotland (until 1929; his sale, Sotheby's, London, December 12, 1929, no. 1532); [ Hagop Kevorkian, New York; by 1953]; [ Kevorkian Foundation, New York, until 1955; sold to MMA]
Robinson, Basil William. The Kevorkian Collection: Islamic and Indian Illustrated Manuscripts, Miniature Paintings and Drawings. New York, 1953. no. CCLI, p. 107.
Robinson, Basil William. "Drawings of the Masters." In Persian Drawings from the 14th through the 19th century. Boston and Toronto: Shorewood Publishers Inc., 1965. pp. 88, 136, ill. pl. 56 (b/w).
Canby, Sheila R. "Five Centuries of Painting." In Persian Masters. Bombay: Marg Publications, 1990. p. 79, ill. fig. 10.
Canby, Sheila R. "The Drawings and Paintings of Riza-Yi Abbasi of Isfahan." In The Rebellious Reformer of Isfahan
. London: Azimuth Editions, 1996. no. 32, p. 184, ill., ill. in color on frontispiece.
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. 147, p. 220, ill. p. 220 (color).