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"Jonah and the Whale", Folio from a Jami al-Tavarikh (Compendium of Chronicles)

Object Name:
Painting
Date:
ca. 1400
Geography:
Iran
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
Dimensions:
H. 13 1/4 in. (33.7 cm) W. 19 1/2 in. (49.5 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1933
Accession Number:
33.113
Not on view
The story of Jonah and the Whale, mentioned in the Qur'an (37:139), was popular in the Muslim world and frequently illustrated in manuscripts of world history. This large-scale painting, however, never formed part of a manuscript. Rather, it may have been used during oral recitation or storytelling. Scholars have also suggested that with its strong palette, monumental figures, and spare composition, this work may reflect a now-lost wall painting tradition. Here, we see Jonah after his release from the belly of the fish. Above him, a gourd vine grows—sent by God to protect him from the elements—and, gliding across the top of the painting, a spirited angel with colorful spreading wings offers Jonah a garment.
Inscription: In Persian, on the arms of Jonah.
"The sun's disk went into darkness, Jonah went into the mouth of the fish."
[ Armenag Bey Sakisian, Paris, until 1933; sold to MMA]
"The Exhibition of Islamic Painting and Book Illumination in the MMA." Apollo vol. 10 (1934). p. 203, ill.

Dimand, Maurice S. Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 29 (1934). pp. 58-60, ill. fig. 2 (b/w).

Sakisian, Armenag Bey. "L'Exposition de miniature et d'enliminure Musulmanes du M.." Syria vol. XV (1934). pp. 276-281, ill. fig. XXXIII.

Dimand, Maurice S. Persian Miniatures. A Picture Book. Metropolitan Museum of Art Picture Books. New York, 1940. ill. fig. 6 (b/w).

Holter, Kurt. "Die Islamischen Miniaturhandschriften vor 1350." Zentralblatt fur Bibliothekswesen (1937). p. 25, ill. fig. 67.

Ettinghausen, Richard, Hugo Buchthal, Otto Kurz, Marvin Chauncey Ross, Basil Gray, George C. Miles, Nabih A. Faris, and Carl Johan Lamm. Ars Islamica, part 2, Vol. VII (1940). p. 163, ill. fig. 10.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 31, ill. fig. 15 (b/w).

Dimand, Maurice S. Persian Miniature Paintings, Gallery of Art, (1956). pp. 18-19, ill. pl. VI (color).

Art Treasures of the Metropolitan. 1st ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1952. p. 240, ill. pl. 206 (color).

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 3rd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1958. ill. fig. 15.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Mohammadan Art. Iran Library. Tehran: Bongah Tarjomeh va Nashr Ketab, 1957. ill. fig. 15.

Dimand, Maurice S. "New Accessions of Islamic Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 16 (April 1958). p. 228.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. Publications, 36.. Lahore: The Panjabi Adabi Academy, 1964. p. 31, ill. fig. 15 (b/w).

Grube, Ernst J. "The Early School of Herat and its Impact on Islamic Painting of the Later 15th, the 16th and 17th Centuries." In The Classical Style in Islamic Painting. Venice: Edizioni Oriens, 1968. ill. pl. 13 (b/w).

Hillenbrand, Robert. Imperial Images in Persian Painting. Edinburgh: Scottish Arts Council Gallery, 1977. no. 172, p. 76.

Welch, Stuart Cary. The Islamic World. vol. 11. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. pp. 78-79, ill. fig. 58 (color).

Lentz, Thomas W., and Glenn D. Lowry. "Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century." In Timur and the Princely Vision. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1989. pp. 58, 61, ill. fig. 20, p. 61 (color).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 135, ill. (color).

de Montebello, Philippe, and Kathleen Howard, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. 6th ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992. p. 320, ill. fig. 23 (color).

Sims, Eleanor, B. Marshak, and Ernst J. Grube. "Persian Painting and its Sources." In Peerless Images. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002. no. 214, pp. 295-296, ill. p. 295 (color).

Farhad, Massumeh, and Serpil Bagci. "Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery." In Falnama: The Book of Omens. Washington, D.C.: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 2009. p. 23, ill. (color).



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