Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Genealogical Scroll

Object Name:
17th century
Country of Origin Turkey
Inks and gilt on paper, silk
H. 320 1/4 in. (813.4 cm) W. 13 in. (33 cm)
Credit Line:
Anonymous Gift, 1967
Accession Number:
Not on view
This type of genealogy is based on Persian prototypes first translated into Turkish in the sixteenth century. Starting from the time of Adam, it lists the descendants of biblical figures and their contemporaries in the Eastern world, such as the Sasanian kings of Persia. It continues with Muhammad and the early caliphs through to the twelve major Islamic dynasties, including the Ottomans, descendants of the line of Yafith/Japhet. The names of the patriarchs, prophets, and kings are placed inside circles of various sizes and colors linked by lines. Those containing the names of the more important persons such as the prophets are larger than the others, and are enclosed within ornamental borders. Each sultan is listed with year of death, length of reign, and age at death. The original Ottoman version of this genealogy was dedicated to Süleyman I (r. 1520–66) by its compiler Shafi'i al-Sharif, but the copyist of this version has included information up to the reign of Muhammad IV (r. 1648–87).
Private Collection(until 1967; gifted to MMA)
Meredith-Owens, G. "A genealogical roll in the Metropolitan Museum." In Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, edited by Richard Ettinghausen. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. p. 89, ill. fig. 1 (b/w).

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