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"Allegory of Worldly and Otherworldly Drunkenness", Folio from the Divan of Hafiz

Artist:
Painting by Sultan Muhammad (active first half 16th century)
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
ca. 1531–33
Geography:
Iran, Tabriz
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Illuminated folio: Painting: H. 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm) W. 5 15/16 in. (15.1 cm) Page: H. 11 3/8 in. (28.9 cm) W. 7 1/8 in. (18.1 cm) Calligraphic folio: Painting: H. 7 in. (17.8 cm) W. 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm) Page: H. 11 1/4 in. (28.6 cm) W. 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm) Mat: H. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm) W. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Jointly owned by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Cary Welch Jr., 1988
Accession Number:
1988.430
Not on view
Sultan Muhammad, the most innovative painter of early sixteenth-century Iran, illustrates the verses by the mystical poet Hafiz by employing his characteristic sense of humor and extreme attention to detail. The tavern party, complete with ecstatic dancers, singers and overindulgent drinkers, is given a new meaning by the presence of angels on top of the pavilion, suggesting that the state of drunkenness can be likened to that of spiritual enlightenment. As a Sufi symbol, wine stands for heaven's divine light and the cup into which it is poured, for the devotee's heart.
Inscription: Signature in Persian in naskhi script, on door:
عمل سلطان محمد
The work of Sultan Muhammad

Marking: See additional card.
[ Tabbagh Frères, Paris and New York ]; Arthur Sambon, Paris (until 1914; his sale, Galerie GeorgesPetit, Paris, May 25–28, 1914, no. 189); Louis J. Cartier, Paris; Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Cary Welch, Warner, NH (until 1988; gifted to MMA)
Martin, F. R. The Miniature Painting and Painters of Persia, India and Turkey from the 8th to the 18th century. vol. 1. London: Bernard Quaritch, 1912. p. 64.

Marteau, Georges, and Henri Vever. "Juin–Octobre, 1912." In Miniatures Persanes Exposées au Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Paris, 1913. ill. pl. LXXIV (b/w).

Sakisian, Armenag Bey. La Miniature Persane du XII au XVII siécle. Paris and Bruxelles: Les Editions G. Van Oest, 1929. pp. 112-113, ill. fig. 144 (b/w).

Binyon, Laurence, Basil Gray, and James Vere Stewart Wilkinson. "Including a Descriptive Catalogue of the Miniatures Exhibited at Burlington House." In Persian Miniature Painting. London, 1933. no. 127 (e), pp. 112, 128-129, ill. pl. LXXV (color).

Pope, Arthur Upham. "The Art of the Book, Textiles, Carpets, Metalwork, Minor arts." In Survey of Persian Art, edited by Dr. Phyllis Ackerman. vol. 3. London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1938–58. p. 1876.

Robinson, Basil William. "Drawings of the Masters." In Persian Drawings from the 14th through the 19th century. Boston and Toronto: Shorewood Publishers Inc., 1965. pp. 22, 65, 124, ill. pl. 33 (color).

Welch, Stuart Cary. "Five Royal Safavid Manuscripts of the Sixteenth Century." In Persian Painting. New York: George Braziller, 1976. p. 30, ill. pl. 18 (color).

Welch, Stuart Cary, Sheila R. Canby, and Norah M. Titley. "Masterpieces of Early Safavid Painting, 1501–1576." In Wonders of the Age. Cambridge, MA: Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museums, 1979. no. 44, pp. 23, 128-129, ill. pl. 44 (b/w).

Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 47, no. 2 (1989). pp. 12-13, ill. p. 12 (color).

Canby, Sheila R. "Five Centuries of Painting." In Persian Masters. Bombay: Marg Publications, 1990. p. 66, ill. fig. 6.

Denny, Walter B., A. Kevin Reinhart, and Gene R. Garthwaite. Images of Paradise in Islamic Art, edited by Sheila S. Blair, and Jonathan M. Bloom. Hanover, NH: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 1991. no. 44, pp. 60, 105, ill., p. 60 (color), p. 105 (b/w).

Atil, Esin. "Humor and Wit in Islamic Art." Asian Art and Culture Vol. 7, no. 3 (1994). p. 21, ill. fig. 10, article pp. 13-29.

Blair, Sheila S., and Jonathan M. Bloom. The Art and Architecture of Islam 1250-1800. Yale University Press Pelican History of art. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994. pp. 168-169, ill. pl. 221 (b/w), Listed as the "Allegory of Drunkenness".

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. 137, pp. 9, 200-202, ill. p. 201 (color).



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