This painting demonstrates an interest in reviving narratives from the Qur'an and ancient myths that were popular with artists of earlier periods. The style is closely based on that of the school of Shiraz of the 1570s. It illustrates the popular tale of Bilqis, the queen of Sheba, here shown enthroned. This is a tale of religious conversion; Bilqis worshipped the sun until receiving a letter from Solomon, inviting her to submit to the worship of one God alone. This folio would have been half of a double-page composition, the other page showing Solomon enthroned.
Charles K. Wilkinson, Sharon, CT (until 1979; gifted to MMA)
Flushing, NY. Queens Museum of Art. "Flights of fantasy," August 14, 1982–November 7, 1982, no. 44.
New York. Leubsdorf Gallery at Hunter College. "Re-Orientations: Islamic Art and the West in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries," February 7, 2008–April 26, 2008, no catalogue.
"M.M.A. Notable Acquisitions 1979–80." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 37 (1979–1980). p. 19, ill. (b/w).
"August 14–November 7, 1982, the Queens Museum, Flushing, NY." In Flights of Fantasy. Flushing, NY: The Queens County Art and Cultural Center, 1982. no. 44.
Swietochowski, Marie, and Sussan Babaie. Persian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989. pp. 1, 7, ill. fig. 1 (b/w).
Bates, Ülkü. Re-Orientations: Islamic Art and the West in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. New York, 2008. no. 9, pp. 52–53, ill.