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Walters Ms. W.691, Single leaf of courtiers at a reception of Shah `Abbas I

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Shelf mark

W.691


Manuscript

Single leaf of courtiers at a reception of Shah `Abbas I


Text title
Courtiers at a reception of Shah 'Abbas I

Abstract

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.


Date

Mid 11th century AH / 17th CE


Origin

Iran


Form

Leaf


Genre

Historical


Language:

The primary language in this manuscript is Persian.


Support material

Paper

Mounted on pasteboard


Extent

Foliation: Not applicable


Dimensions

23.5 cm wide by 39.5 cm high


Layout
  1. Image: 19.8 cm wide by 31.0 cm high

Contents:
fols. W.691a - W.691b:
  1. Title: Courtiers at a reception of Shah 'Abbas I
  2. Hand note: Written in nastaʿlīq script
  3. Decoration note: Wide polychrome illuminated border

Decoration:

fol. W.691a:

  1. W.691, fol. W.691a
  2. Title: Courtiers of Shāh ʿAbbās I
  3. Form: Illustration
  4. Label: 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 (lit. 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 denoted a woman who procures the palace with slave girls. This page 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.

fol. W.691b:

  1. W.691, fol. W.691b
  2. Title: Courtiers of Shāh ʿAbbās I (back)
  3. Form: Back

Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters bequest


Bibliography

Schmitz, Barbara. “On a Special Hat Introduced During the Reign of Shah ʿAbbās the Great.” Iran: Journal of Persian Studies 22 (1984): 103-112.

Simpson, Marianna Shreve. "Shah 'Abbas and his Picture Bible." In The Book of Kings: Art, War, and the Morgan Library's Medieval Picture Bible. (Baltimore: Walters Art Museum, 2002), 200, cat. 41.

Robinson, B.W. and E. Sims. The Windsor Shahnama of 1648. (London: Azimuth Editions for the Roxburghe Club, 2007), 202, figs. 1 and 1a.

Canby, Sheila R. Shah 'Abbas: The Remaking of Iran. (London: British Museum Press, 2009), 133, cat. 51.


Contributors

Principal cataloger: Gacek, Adam

Catalogers: Landau, Amy; Smith, Sita

Editor: Bockrath, Diane

Conservators: Jewell, Stephanie; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Barrera, Christina; Emery, Doug; Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William; Simpson, Shreve; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.; Valle, Chiara


Publisher

The Walters Art Museum


License

Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.