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Collecting Turkmen Jewelry: The Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf Collection

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Portrait of a Sufi

Object Name:
Illustrated single work
Date:
first quarter 17th century
Geography:
India, Deccan, probably Bijapur
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Page: 15 1/8 x 9 3/4 in. (38.4 x 24.8 cm) Painting: 8 7/8 x 9 3/4 in. (22.6 x 24.8 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Bequest of Cora Timken Burnett, 1956
Accession Number:
57.51.30
  • Description

    The primitive fur, the alms bowl, the flute, and the trance-like meditative state identify this figure as a dervish, or a sufi, a Muslim mystic who has renounced the material aspects of existence. The sense of abstract patterning in the fur and in the man's crossed limbs, combined with the distinctive palette featuring pink and sky blue, suggest an origin in the Deccan, possibly Bijapur. The invocation at the lower left, "Oh Prophet of the House of Hashim from thee comes help," referring to the prophet Muhammad, is in Persian.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: In Persian, above the depiction of the Sufi's bowl: "O Prophet, descendant of Hashim, from thee is (our) help" (Information present on card)

  • Provenance

    Cora Timken Burnett, Alpine, NJ (by 1940–d. 1956; bequeathed to MMA)

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
451409

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