"Jonah and the Whale", Folio from a Majma' al-Tavarikh (Compendium of Histories) of Hafiz-i Abru, Hafiz-i Abru (d. 1430), Opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper

"Jonah and the Whale", Folio from a Majma' al-Tavarikh (Compendium of Histories) of Hafiz-i Abru

Hafiz-i Abru (d. 1430)
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
ca. 1425
Made in Afghanistan, Herat
Opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper
H. 16 3/4 in. (42.5 cm)
W. 13 1/8 in. (33.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Cora Timken Burnett Collection of Persian Miniatures and Other Persian Art Objects, Bequest of Cora Timken Burnett, 1956
Accession Number:
Not on view
Written by court historian Hafiz-i Abru and modelled after the Ilkhanid Jami' al-Tavarikh, the text of the Majma al-Tavarikh begins at the time of Adam and continues into the rule of Shah Rukh (r. 1405–47). In this scene, Jonah crouches in the foliage on the bank of a body of water, which was painted in silver and has since oxidized, making it appear dark grey in color. This manuscript, which was originally composed of 407 folios including 150 miniatures, remained intact until at least 1928. It had a leather binding, and its paintings were executed in three different styles. The Metropolitan Museum owns ten folios from the manuscript.
[ Emile Tabbagh, Paris, by 1926]; [ Dikran G. Kelekian, New York; sold to Macy]; V. Everit Macy, New York (until d. 1930; his estate sale, American ArtAssociation, New York, January 6–8, 1938, no. 440, ill.); Cora Timken Burnett, Alpine, NJ (until d. 1956; bequeathed to MMA)
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. "Special Persian Exhibition," 1926.

London. Burlington House. "International Exhibition of Persian Art," January 7, 1931–February 28, 1931, no. 449.

Pope, Arthur Upham. "Special Persian Exhibition." Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Museum Vol. XXII, no. 107 (November 1926). pp. 245-251.

Wilson, Arnold T. "7th January to 28th February, 1931." In Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art. 3rd. ed. London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1931. no. 449, p. 236.