Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

"The Concourse of the Birds", Folio 11r from a Mantiq al-tair (Language of the Birds)

Artist:
Painting by Habiballah of Sava (active ca. 1590–1610)
Author:
Farid al-Din `Attar (ca. 1142–1220)
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
ca. 1600
Geography:
Iran, Isfahan
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
Dimensions:
Painting: H. 10 in. (25.4 cm) W. 4 1/2in. (11.4cm) Page: H. 13 in. (33 cm) W. 8 3/16 in. (20.8 cm) Mat: H. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm) W. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1963
Accession Number:
63.210.11
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
The illustration on this folio depicts a scene from a mystical poem, Mantiq al-tair (Language of the Birds), written by a twelfth-century Iranian, Farid al-Din 'Attar. The birds, which symbolize individual souls in search of the simurgh (a mystical bird representing ultimate spiritual unity), are assembled in an idyllic landscape to begin their pilgrimage under the leadership of a hoopoe (perched on a rock at center right). The careful, harmonious composition is consistent with that of the late fifteenth-century Timurid miniatures also in the manuscript, but three factors indicate that this image is later: the presence of the hunter, who has no place in the narrative; his firearm, a weapon that gained currency in Iran after the mid-sixteenth century; and the signature of the late sixteenth- to early seventeenth-century artist Habiballah
Signature: In Persian: "Signed by Habib Allah".

Inscription: (In Persian): "Painted by order of Shah `Abbas" [added when manuscript was remounted]; (in Arabic, across tree at left): "charitable foundation" (waqf)

In Persian in nasta‘liq script:
Attar, Manṭiq al-Ṭayr منطق الطیر story مجمع مرغان (Conference of the Birds) at the beginning of the book.

(Farīd al-Dīn ‘Aṭṭār, Manṭiq al-Ṭayr, ed. Sayyid Ṣādiq Guharīn, Bungāh Tarjama va Nashr-I Kitāb publication, Tehran, 1342/1959, p.39).

A.Ghouchani
Shah Abbas I, Isfahan, Iran (ca. 1600–1609; presented to Ardebil Shrine); Ardebil Shrine, Iran (ca. 1609–sack of Ardebil, 1826); M. Farid Parbanta(until 1963; sale, Sotheby's, London,December 9, 1963, no. 111, to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Princely Patrons: Three Royal Manuscripts of the Timurid Dynasty," March 4, 1995–June 4, 1995.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Rumi," October 15, 2007–March 5, 2008.

London. British Museum. "Shah `Abbas and the Three Great Shi`i Shrines of the Safavids," February 12, 2009–June 7, 2009.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries: the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1970. no. 157, p. 180, ill. (b/w).

Swietochowski, Marie. "The historical background and illustrative character of the Metropolitan Museum's Mantiq al-Tayr of 1483." In Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, edited by Richard Ettinghausen. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. p. 46, ill. fig. 3 (b/w).

Swietochowski, Marie, and Richard Ettinghausen. "Islamic Painting." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 36, no. 2 (Autumn 1978). pp. 2-3, ill. p. 3 (color), Frontispiece (color).

Ferrier, Ronald W., ed. The Arts of Persia. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989. p. 213, ill. pl. 28 (b/w).

de Montebello, Philippe, and Kathleen Howard, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. 6th ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992. pp. 324-325, ill. fig. 31 (color).

Alexander, David, Maktabat al-Malik Abd al-Aziz al-Ammah, Daniel S. Walker, and Helmut Nickel. Furusiyya. The Horse in the Art of the Near East, edited by David Alexander. vol. 1. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: King Abdulaziz Public Library, 1996. p. 202.

Hillenbrand, Robert, ed. Persian Painting from the Mongols to the Qajars : Studies in Honour of Basil W. Robinson. Pembroke Persian papers, vol. 3. London; New York: I.B. Tauris & Company, Ltd., 2000. p. 284.

Sims, Eleanor, B. Marshak, and Ernst J. Grube. "Persian Painting and its Sources." In Peerless Images. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002. no. 250, pp. 329-330, ill. p. 329 (color).

Babaie, Sussan, Kathryn Babayan, Ina Baghdiantz-McCabe, and Massumeh Farhad. "New Elites of Safavid Iran." In Slaves of the Shah. Library of Middle East history, vol. 3. London; New York: I.B. Tauris & Company, Ltd., 2004. ill. fig. 13 (b/w).

Barry, Mike, and Stuart Cary Welch. "et l'Enigme de Behzad de Herat (1465–1535)." In L'Art Figuratif en Islam Medieval. Paris: Flammarion, 2004. pp. 372-273, ill. p. 273 (color).

Lewisohn, Leonard, and Christopher Shackle, ed. "the art of spiritual flight." In Attar and the Persian Sufi Tradition. London; New York: The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2006. p. 164, ill. pl. 1 (color).

Canby, Sheila R. Shah 'Abbas: The Remaking of Iran. London: British Museum, 2009. no. 82, p. 170-171, ill. p. 171 (color).

Kamada, Yumiko. "An Illustrated Manuscript of Mantiq al-Tayr in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Orient vol. XLV (2010). pp. 142-143, 170, 174, fig. 6.

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. 127D, pp. 188-190, ill. p.189 (color).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 139, ill. (color).



Related Objects

A Stallion

Artist: Painting by Habiballah of Sava (active ca. 1590–1610) Date: ca. 1601–6 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 1992.51 On view in:Gallery 462

The Lovers

Artist: Painting by Riza-yi `Abbasi (ca. 1565–1635) Date: dated A.H. 1039/ A.D. 1630 Medium: Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper Accession: 50.164 On view in:Gallery 462

Folio from a Mu'nis al-ahrar fi daqa'iq al-ash'ar (The Free Man's Companion to the Subtleties of Poems) of Jajarmi

Artist: Muhammad ibn Badr al-Din Jajarmi (active 1340s) Date: A.H. 741/A.D. 1340–41 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 19.68.1 On view in:Not on view

Mantiq al-tair (Language of the Birds)

Artist: Sultan `Ali Mashhadi (ca.1440–1520) Date: ca. 1600 Medium: Opaque watercolor and gold on paper Accession: 63.210 On view in:Gallery 455