Sep 15, 2015
Sep 15, 2015

Calligraphy (verso)

Calligraphy (verso)

c. 1640–60

Part of a set. See all set records

Ink on paper, six lines of Persian poetry, verso

Page: 40.5 x 28.9 cm (15 15/16 x 11 3/8 in.)

Gift in honor of Madeline Neves Clapp; Gift of Mrs. Henry White Cannon by exchange; Bequest of Louise T. Cooper; Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund; From the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection 2013.289.b



The text of the poem praises the season of spring, with mystical undertones. The Persian verses are written from right to left in the cursive form of Arabic script known as nasta‘liq. "It is springtime friends! Time to nurse the carnal wants: Wine, a minstrel, a pretty face, a secluded corner in a garden. What would I have done given my lack of means, If my heart did not have a cure for searing longings? My heart derives from the bounteous Sea of Compassion Its self-abnegating otherworldliness, an ever-radiant night glowing gem." The poem may be related to the painting of the African musician on the other side, subtly perpetuating the stereotypical association of African men with lustful desires, music, and dance.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email