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recto: Standing Figure verso, detail: Standing Figure

Standing Figure

Artist: Ascribed to Muhammadi
Historical period(s)
Safavid period, mid-16th century
Ink, and gold on paper
H x W (painting): 16 × 7.1 cm (6 5/16 × 2 13/16 in)
Iran, Probably Qazvin
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
According to Sufism, gazing at the beautiful face of the beloved facilitates greater spiritual consciousness, and the seventeenth century abounds in images of handsome idealized youths. This painting is inscribed with a line of poetry by Mir Ali Sher Navai, one of the most influential cultural figures and poets of late-fifteenth-century Iran. It reads, "Your many arrows have destroyed Navai's heart." Although it is unclear whether text and image are directly related in this composition, the wistful figure with a wine cup can be interpreted as a visual metaphor for the Sufi concept of the beloved, so frequently described in mystically inspired Persian poetry.The painting is attributed to the celebrated painter Muhammadi, who began his career in late-sixteenth-century Herat in present-day Afghanistan. He then joined the royal atelier in Tabriz in northwestern Iran and in 1548 moved with the court to Qazvin, where this work was probably completed. Muhammadi's style is notable for its sinuous lines and slender, elegant male figures.

E. Beghian. [1]

To 1933
Hagop Kevorkian (1872-1962), New York. [2]

From 1933
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Hagop Kevorkian, New York. [3]


[1] Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See note 1.

Former owner
E. Beghian (1910? - 1950?)
Hagop Kevorkian (1872 - 1962)
On View Location
Currently not on view
flower, illumination, Iran, nasta'liq script, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), WWII-era provenance
Collection(s) Area
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

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