"Muhammad's Call to Prophecy and the First Revelation", Folio from a Majma' al-Tavarikh (Compendium of Histories)
Hafiz-i Abru (d. 1430)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
present-day Afghanistan, Herat
Opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper
Painting: H. 6 1/8 in. (15.5 cm)
W. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm)
Page: H. 16 7/8 in. (42.8 cm)
W. 13 1/4 in. (33.7 cm)
Mat: H. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm)
W. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
Cora Timken Burnett Collection of Persian Miniatures and Other Persian Art Objects, Bequest of Cora Timken Burnett, 1956
Not on view
Shah Rukh (r. 1405–47), son of Timur, commissioned Hafiz‑i Abru to write an extensive world history, beginning with Adam and continuing down to his own time. Early manuscript copies of the text are heavily illustrated in a simple, direct style—as seen in this example. Here, the angel Gabriel appears to the Prophet Muhammad, calling him to spread the word of God, and transmitting to him the first of God’s revelations—which would become the Muslim holy book, the Qur'an.
Emile Tabbagh, Paris (by 1926–d. 1936; his estate sale,Anderson Galleries, New York, 3–4 January, 1936, no. 209, to Kevorkian); [ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, 1936–ca. 1940; sold to Burnett]; Cora Timken Burnett, Alpine, NJ (by 1940–d. 1956; bequeathed to MMA)
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. "Special Persian Exhibition," 1926.
de Young Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "Exhibition of Islamic Art," February 24, 1937–March 22, 1937.
The Iranian Institute. "Exhibition of Persian Art," 1940.
Pope, Arthur Upham. "Special Persian Exhibition." Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Museum Vol. XXII, no. 107 (November 1926). pp. 245-251.
Aga-Oglu, Mehmet. "M. H. De Young Memorial Museum, February 24 to March 22, 1937." In Exhibition of Islamic Art. San Francisco, 1937. no. 45, p. 29.
Harari, Ralph, and Richard Ettinghausen. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present, edited by Arthur Upham Pope. Vol. I-VI. London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1938. v. III, p. 1839.
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 74D, p. 191.
Ekhtiar, Maryam, and Claire Moore, ed. "A Resource for Educators." In Art of the Islamic World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. pp. 40-41, ill. pl. 1 (color).