The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 28, 2024

Black and White Bird Perched on a Shrub

Black and White Bird Perched on a Shrub

Sheet: 16.1 x 25 cm (6 5/16 x 9 13/16 in.); Image: 7.7 x 13.4 cm (3 1/16 x 5 1/4 in.)
Location: not on view


In Iran between the 1630s and 1650s, the court painter Shafi’ ‘Abbasi, son of the renowned painter Riza ‘Abbasi, specialized in a new fashion depicting naturalistic plants and birds, some adapted from European sources such as botanical engravings or herbals. Several have been identified as patterns for textiles, evidenced by pricked holes along the contours, which allowed designs to be transferred to another surface. The inscription indicates that Shafi’ ‘Abbasi made this painting for Shah Abbas II in 1651-52. Presumably, he copied this composition from a European engraving.
  • ?–1971
    John D. MacDonald, Cambridge, MA, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • “Annual Report for 1971.” The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 59, no. 6 (June 1972): 147–179. Mentioned: p. 152; Reproduced: p. 151
    Welch, Anthony. Shah ʹAbbas & the Arts of Isfahan. New York: The Asia Society; distributed by New York Graphic Society [Greenwich, CT], 1973. p. 99, cat. no. 58
    Welch, Anthony. "The Arts of Isfahan." Orientations, Vol. 4, no. 12 (December 1973). Reproduced: p. 33
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1978. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978. Reproduced: p. 281
    Lippman, Thomas W. "Thirteen Centuries of Islamic Art and Science." Smithsonian, Vol. 14, no. 3, June 1983, pp. 66–69.
    Turner, Howard R. Science in Medieval Islam: An Illustrated Introduction. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1997. Reproduced: p. 168, fig. 10.2
    Mackie, Louise W. Symbols of Power: Luxury Textiles from Islamic Lands, 7th-21st Century. Cleveland; New Haven: Cleveland Museum of Art; Yale University Press, 2015. Mentioned and reproduced: P. 376, fig. 9.35
  • The Arts of Isfahan. Asia House Galleries, New York City, NY (organizer) (October 10-December 2, 1973); Fogg Art Museum/Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (January 19-February 22, 1974).
    Islamic art rotation. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (December 18, 2014-December 14, 2015).
    The Heritage of Islam. Houston, TX; San Francisco, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; Washington, DC (March 10, 1982-September 5, 1983).
  • {{cite web|title=Black and White Bird Perched on a Shrub|url=false|author=Shafi' Abbasi|year=1651–52|access-date=28 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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