"Funeral Procession", Folio 35r from a Mantiq al-Tayr (Language of the Birds)

Calligrapher Sultan 'Ali al-Mashhadi Iranian
Author Farid al-Din `Attar Iranian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455

This illustration is associated with a story related by the hoopoe as a response to a bird who complains about his fear of death. In the story, a son grieves the death of his father in front of his coffin and a sufi soothes him, explaining that his father had experienced much pain and that no one can avoid death. Here, the painter depicts the incident as occurring in front of a cemetery gate. The scene behind the gate is replete with motifs that are irrelevant to the story itself. The viewer at the court may have enjoyed deciphering them.

"Funeral Procession", Folio 35r from a Mantiq al-Tayr (Language of the Birds), Sultan 'Ali al-Mashhadi (Iranian, Mashhad 1453–1520 Mashhad), Opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper

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