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Conserving the Emperor's Carpet
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True Colors: The Damascus Room
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Islamic Textiles and Carpets from the Met's Collection
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"The Feast of Sada", Folio from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp
"Tahmuras Defeats the Divs", Folio from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp
"Zal Consults the Magi", Folio from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp
"Zahhak is Told His Fate", Folio from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp
"Faridun Embraces Manuchihr", Folio from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp
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This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 450
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.
Marking: See additional card.
[ Tabbagh Frères, Paris and New York ]; Arthur Sambon, Paris (until 1914; his sale, Galerie GeorgesPetit, Paris, May 25–28, 1914, lot 189); Louis J. Cartier, Paris; Stuart Cary Welch, Warner, New Hampshire
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