A lush landscape provides the setting for a picnic, complete with fruit and beverages in Chinese‑style blue-and-white vessels. Two men sit in conversation, one writing and holding a safina (an oblong format book typically containing poetry), flanked by a man standing on the left and a woman on the right carrying a covered bowl decorated with Chinese designs. The patterned robes, silk sashes, and striped turbans resemble costumes depicted in seventeenth‑century Persian drawings and paintings.
Inscription: The poetry on the safina manuscript on the tile panel is a couplet from a ghazal or ode by the famous Persian poet, Hafez of Shiraz: "O king of the virtuous, cries from the sorrow of separation The heart aches for your presence, it is time for you to return"
From a palace pavilion built by Shah Abbas (1583–1627) on the garden avenue of the Chahar Bagh at Isfahan
[ Louis Chardon, New York, until 1903; sold to MMA]
New York. Hagop Kevorkian Fund Special Exhibitions Gallery. "Persian Tiles," May 4, 1993–January 2, 1994, no. 35.
Carboni, Stefano, and Tomoko Masuya. Persian Tiles. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. no. 35, p. 40, ill. (b/w).