"Funeral Procession", Folio 35r from a Mantiq al-tair (Language of the Birds)
Sultan 'Ali al-Mashhadi (active late 15th–early 16th century)
Farid al-Din `Attar (ca. 1142–1220)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
dated A.H. 892/ A.D. 1487
present-day Afghanistan, Herat
Opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper
Painting: H. 9 3/4 in. (24.8 cm)
W. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm)
Page: H. 13 in. (33 cm)
W. 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm)
Mat: H. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm)
W. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1963
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
This illustration is associated with a story related by the hoopoe as a response to a bird who complains about his fear of death. In the story, a son grieves the death of his father in front of his coffin and a sufi soothes him, explaining that his father had experienced much pain and that no one can avoid death. Here, the painter depicts the incident as occurring in front of a cemetery gate. The scene behind the gate is replete with motifs that are irrelevant to the story itself. The viewer at the court may have enjoyed deciphering them.
Inscription: Inscription in Persian in nasta‘liq script
Attar, Manṭiq al-Ṭayr منطق الطیر story سوگواري پسري در مرگ پدر (a boy's mourning after the death of his father).
(Farīd al-Dīn ‘Aṭṭār, Manṭiq al-Ṭayr, ed. Sayyid Ṣādiq Guharīn, Bungāh Tarjama va Nashr-i Kitāb publication, Tehran, 1342/1959, p.131).
Marking: Upper right & lower left; seal of Shah Abbas upper right.
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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Artist: Sultan 'Ali al-Mashhadi (active late 15th–early 16th century)Date: text: dated A.H. 892/ A.D. 1487; illumination: ca. 1600Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paperAccession: 63.210.1On view in:Gallery 455