"How a Braggart was Drowned in a Well", Folio 33v from a Haft Paikar (Seven Portraits) of the Khamsa (Quintet) of Nizami
Nizami (Ilyas Abu Muhammad Nizam al-Din of Ganja) (probably 1141–1217)
Maulana Azhar (d. 1475/76)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
present-day Afghanistan, Herat
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Painting: H. 8 7/8 in. (22.5 cm)
W. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm)
Page: H. 11in. (27.9 cm)
W. 7 3/16 in. (18.3 cm)
Mat: H. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm)
W. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
Gift of Alexander Smith Cochran, 1913
Not on view
This miniature is an illustration of the most dramatic episode in the tale told by the Moorish princess in the Green Paviliion on Monday. While traversing the desert, Bashr, a good and pious man, and his bragging and evil-minded traveling companion come upon a jar filled with pure water sunk into the sand. After they have quenched their thirst, the selfish companion insists upon bathing in the water, in spite of Bashr's pleas against polluting it. The water turns out to be a deep well fed by a spring, and the heedless companion drowns. The tale ends happily for the deserving Bashr. The well is shown from two different perspectives to aid the viewer's comprehension of the scene.
Inscription: Text inscribed in Persian, in nasta'liq script by Maulana Azhar (d. A.H. 880/ A.D.1475-6).
(On the present folio, in Persian, at top of the building): "Allah and noone but he, and we never worship anyone but he"; (above right window): "Continuous glory, the power"; (above left window): "The glory the Sultan the power"; (above door): "Ye who open the doors."
In Persian language and in nastaʻliq script
Khamsa of Nizami , هفت پيكر story نشستن بهرام گور روز دوشنبه در گنبد سبز و افسانه گفتن دختر پادشاه اقلیم سوم
(Nizami Ganjavi, Sab’a-yi hakim Nizami Ganjavi, Haft Paykar, ed.Hasan vahid Dastgirdi, Muassaa-ye Matbu’ati Ilmi publication, 2nd ed., 1363/1985, p.207.)
Emperor Akbar, India (from 1580); his grandson Shah Jahan, India (in 1658); Alexander Smith Cochran, Yonkers, NY (until 1913; gifted to MMA)
Washington. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. "Timur and the Princely Vision. Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century," April 14, 1989–July 6, 1989.
Los Angeles. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Timur and the Princely Vision. Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century," August 13, 1989–November 5, 1989.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Perfect Page: The Art of Embellishment in Islamic Book Design," May 17, 1991–August 18, 1991.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Princely Patrons: Three Royal Manuscripts of the Timurid Dynasty," March 4, 1995–June 4, 1995.
Valentiner, William Reinhold. "The Cochran Collection of Persian Manuscripts." Museum of Metropolitan Art Bulletin, old series, vol. 8 (1913). pp. 80-86.
Jackson, A. V. Williams, and A. Yohannan. "Presented to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, by Alexander Smith Cochran." In A Catalogue of the Collection of Persian Manuscripts, Including also Some Turkish and Arabic. 1914. no. 10, p. 71.
Robinson, B. W. "Prince Baysonghor's Nizami." Ars Orientalis vol. 2 (1957). pp. 383-391, ill. fig. 12.
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. 18 (b/w), fol. 33v.
Museum of Metropolitan Art Bulletin vol. 33, no. 1 (1975). p. 24, ill. (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. no. 62, pp. 173, 175, 342, ill. p. 175 (color).
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. 123B, pp. 4, 183-184, ill. p. 183 (color).
Artist: Nizami (Ilyas Abu Muhammad Nizam al-Din of Ganja) (probably 1141–1217)Date: ca. 1625–30Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on unpolished paperAccession: 1982.476.1a, bOn view in:Not on view