Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Masnavi of Jalal-al Din Rumi

Object Name:
Illustrated manuscript
dated A.H. 894/A.D. 1488–89
Attributed to Iran
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper; leather binding
11 1/8 x 7 1/4in. (28.3 x 18.4cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Alexander Smith Cochran, 1913
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
The frontispiece of this six book manuscript depicts a lively scene in which mounted hunters use swords, bows, and arrows to pursue their prey. Other paintings of receptions and feasts provide further insight into the courtly life of the Timurid period. An inscription in the colophon and on two other folios give the date of completion of this manuscript as 894 (A.D. 1488–89), although four of the 355 folios were added at a later date. The text by Jalal al-Din Rumi teaches moral philosophy and mysticism.
Inscription: Definition: colophon
Location: fol. 355v
Style: Arabic naskh
Translation: This compilation was finished ...... in the year 894
Notes: the colophon is set in a triangle below the four columns of text. Same date appears at fols. 58r and 108r

Marking: Nasta'liq calligraphy; colophon and dated memorandums of ownership
Muhammad Shah, Iran (in 1844); Alexander Smith Cochran, Yonkers, NY (until 1913; gifted to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Making the Invisible Visible," April 2, 2013–August 4, 2013, no catalogue.

Jackson, A. V. Williams, and A. Yohannan. Catalogue of the Collection of Persian Manuscripts, Including also some Turkish and Arabic, Presented to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York by Alexander Smith Cochran. Columbia University Indo Iranian Series, vol. 1. New York: Columbia University Press, 1912. no. 12, pp. 95-98, ill. (b/w).

Valentiner, William Reinhold. "The Cochran Collection of Persian Manuscripts." Museum of Metropolitan Art Bulletin, old series, vol. 8 (1913). pp. 80-86.

Dimand, Maurice S., ed. "Dated Specimens of Mohammedan Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." MMA Studies 1, pt.2 (1929). p. 212.

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