Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Page of Calligraphy from a Mantiq al-tair (Language of the Birds)

Author:
Farid al-Din `Attar (ca. 1142–1220)
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
ca. 1600
Geography:
Made in Iran
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1963
Accession Number:
63.210.21
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
This folio belonged to a manuscript of the Mantiq al-Tair that was presented to the Ardabil shrine in 1608–09, more than a century after its text and most of its illustrations were completed. Under the Safavid Shah ‘Abbas, its pages were remounted and four illustrations, a frontispiece, and a new binding were added. For a long time, the text and paintings were assumed to be Timurid, from the original manuscript. Scholars have determined, however, that this folio is one of fifteen Safavid additions that were produced to replace damaged or lost folios. The original calligrapher of the manuscript was Sultan ‘Ali Mashhadi, a famed calligrapher and poet of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries.
Signature: (Signed and dated in colophon) Sultan Ali of Meshhed
Shah Abbas I, Isfahan, Iran (ca. 1600–1608; presented to Ardebil Shrine); Ardebil Shrine, Iran (ca. 1608–sack of Ardebil, 1826); M. Farid Parbanta(until 1963; sale, Sotheby's, London,December 9, 1963, no. 111, to MMA)
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