Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Portrait of a Sufi

Object Name:
Illustrated single work
Date:
first quarter 17th century
Geography:
Attributed to India, Deccan, Bijapur
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
OveralL. 15 3/8 x 10 3/8in. (39 x 26.3cm) Dimensions of painting: 5 5/16 x 8 7/8in. (13.5 x 22.5cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Bequest of Cora Timken Burnett, 1956
Accession Number:
57.51.22
Not on view
This figure can be identified as a sufi, on account of his long-sleeved khirqa cloak, and turban wrapped in fabric. His curled-up posture and lowered gaze suggest that he is in a state of deep introspection.
Sufis frequently spent periods of up to forty days in isolation in the wilderness. This practice, called khalwa, facilitated distraction-free meditation and prayer. Young sufis would engage in this habit under the guidance of a shaikh, and more advanced sufis would sustain this practice independently throughout their lives.
[ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, by 1914]; Cora Timken Burnett, Alpine, NJ (by 1940–d. 1956; bequeathed to MMA)
The Iranian Institute. "Exhibition of Persian Art," 1940, Gal. VIII, 40.

Pope, Arthur Upham. Masterpieces of Persian Art. New York, 1945. p. 173, ill. pl. 131 (b/w).

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 VIII; no. 40, p. 241.



Related Objects

The House of Bijapur

Artist: Painting by Kamal Muhammad (active 1680s) Date: ca. 1680 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper Accession: 1982.213 On view in:Not on view

Portrait of a Sufi

Date: first quarter 17th century Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 57.51.30 On view in:Gallery 463

"Rosette Bearing the Names and Titles of Shah Jahan", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album

Date: recto: ca. 1645; verso: ca. 1630–40 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 55.121.10.39 On view in:Gallery 450

Portrait of a Muslim Saint

Date: late 17th century Medium: Opaque watercolor and gold on paper Accession: 59.45 On view in:Gallery 463

The Fabulous Creature Buraq

Date: ca. 1660–80 Medium: Opaque watercolor and gold on paper Accession: 1992.17 On view in:Gallery 463