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Portrait of a Sufi
"Fairies Descend to the Chamber of Prince Manohar", Folio from a Gulshan-i 'Ishq (Rose Garden of Love)
Folio from a `Aja'ib al-Makhluqat wa Ghara'ib al-Mawjudat (The Wonders of Creation and the Oddities of Existence)
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This artwork is not on display
This painting treats a theme common in Sufi literature, in which the nag represents the body’s desires and therefore must be kept in a state of hunger and mortification in order to bear the rider to his goal—union with God. The symbol of the emaciated horse formed a frequent subject in paintings in Iran and India from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but was especially popular in Bijapur, where the use of marbleized paper distinguishes the production.
Sarkis Katchadourian, New York (until 1944; his sale, Parke-Bernet,New York, January 28, 1944, lot 15, to MMA)
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