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(Persian, active mid- to late 1500s)
Ink and opaque watercolor with gold on paper, illuminated calligraphy (verso)
Page: 28 x 23.8 cm (11 x 9 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 2013.347.b
The work was part of an album of paintings collected in India before 1811 by a Scottish politician who worked for the British East India Company.
This fine calligraphic work is signed and dated by a calligrapher who was highly regarded in both Safavid Iran and Mughal India. Mughal albums typically had a painted portrait or figural scene on one side, and a work of calligraphy on the other. The British civil servant Sir Charles Forbes made his album following that format.
The verses are a lament over a lack of wine, beginning:
For some days now the Daughter of the Vine has been lost to us,
Gone away to tend to her own affairs.
Be alert and prepared as a search party.
Her dress is of rubies, and she wears a tiara of delicate glass.
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