"The Great Abu Sa'ud Teaching Law", Folio from a Divan of Mahmud `Abd-al Baqi
Mahmud 'Abd-al Baqi (1526–1600)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Attributed to Iraq, Baghdad
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
H. 10 1/4 in. (26 cm) W. 6 in. (15.2 cm)
Gift of George D. Pratt, 1925
Not on view
Mahmud 'Abd al-Baqi (1526/27–1600) was a Turkish judge and poet whose most important work is his Divan, or collection of poetical works, which reflects the pleasures of courtly life in Istanbul in the sixteenth century. This is a page from one of the four known illustrated copies of this manuscript. It shows the Shaikh al-Islam (chief theologian) of that time, Abu al-Sa'ud (1490–1574), engaged in discussions with other theologians, and accompanies a qasida, or laudatory poem, about him.
Inscription: The text is a poem which contains a long description of Winter. The first line, as transcribed in modern Turkish, reads: "Agardi berf-ile yer yer cemende cism-i nihal."
George D. Pratt, New York (until 1925; gifted to MMA)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Mohammedan Manuscripts." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, old series, vol. 9 (1914). p. 48, ill. p. 48 (b/w).
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Mohammedan Decorative Arts. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1930. pp. 50, 53, ill. fig. 21 (b/w).
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 56, ill. fig. 30 (b/w).
Swietochowski, Marie, and Richard Ettinghausen. "Islamic Painting." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., vol. 36, no. 2 (Autumn 1978). p. 48, ill. p. 48 (b/w).
Milstein, Rachel. Miniature Painting in Ottoman Baghdad. Islamic art and architecture ; no. 5. Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, 1990.
Schimmel, Annemarie. "Islamic Calligraphy." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., vol. 50, no. 1 (Summer 1992). p. 36, ill. fig. 44 (color).