W.691, Single leaf of courtiers at a reception of Shah `Abbas I
This painting depicts courtiers of the Safavid ruler Shāh ʿAbbās I (r. 996 AH / 1588 CE -- 1038 AH / 1629 CE). It is the right side of a double-page composition, which most likely served as a frontispiece to a manuscript. Certain courtiers of Shāh ʿAbbās I are identified by name. In the far upper right two men stand wearing turbans with vertical extensions held at the center, who are identified as Alpān Bīk (Beg) (in a blue robe) and Qarajaghāy Khān (in a red robe). Their headdress is distinctive of high-ranking members of court during the early eleventh century AH / seventeenth CE. Qarajaghāy Khān, an Armenian of the royal household, held a number of political positions at court and was an important patron of the arts. Standing lower down on the right side is Shāh Vardī Bīk Ishik Aqāsī (literally master of the threshold, or master of ceremonies) (in a gold and black robe). An Uzbek envoy (īlchī-yi Ūzbak) (in a beige and blue patterned robe) is seated on the carpet. Falconers, grooms, and a musician (Qubād-i Kurd) standing beside a man identified as Mīrzā ʿUmar (?) Shaykh (in a red and gold robe) are also shown. There are two seated female figures, identified as Gulparī and Dukhtardallālah. The latter seems to denote a woman who procures slave girls for the palace. This single leaf has been associated with Reception at the court of Shah`Abbas I, also housed at the Walters Art Museum (W.771, fol. 50a). However, it is unlikely that the two ever formed a double-page composition.
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