Lot n° 157
4000 - 6000
DOUBLE PAGE ENLUMINÉE AVEC UN « GHAZAL » DE HÂFEZ
IRAN, QAJAR ART, 19th CENTURY
Two leaves mounted opposite each other on a cardboard page, each painted in bright polychrome and gold. In the centre of each page are two cartouches of Hafez's "ghazal" no. 330, calligraphically written in nasta'liq on a turquoise background with gold powdering, surrounded by arabesques of palmettes. On either side, a poly-lobed cartouche in gold on a background of golden palmettes on a cobalt blue background. The whole is bordered by a fine frieze of flowers on a black background and a band of pendants on a blue background. Originally mounted in an album (muraqqa'), stains and spotting.
TWO FACING ILLUMINATED CALLIGRAPHIC ALBUM PAGES, PERSIA, QAJAR, 19TH CENTURY.
Size of each page: 33, x 22.6 cm; size of open page: 45.5 x 33 cm.
The ghazal is a form of poem made up of distichs (verses in two parts) that each tend to be a poem. The 14th-century Persian poet Hafez, whose real name was Shams al-Din Muhammad Shirazi, is considered the master of this literary genre. Here the ghazal is applied to a superb illuminated double-page spread in the style of sixteenth-century Safavid sarlowhs, such as the one in a Bustan of Sa'di in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. (Ladan Akbarnia and Francesca Leoni, Light of the Sufis. The Mystical Arts of Islam, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, cat. 27, p. 76). Such illuminations were painted on the opening pages of manuscripts in the sixteenth century, which is not the case here. From the first half of the 19th century, schools of miniaturists in Shiraz and Esfahan adopted the Safavid style for painting illuminated double pages. In this case, the design of the two-page spread, based on the sarlowh model, for inserting poetic verses, as well as a certain irregularity in the treatment of the cartouches, points to a later date than Safavid. These Qajar illuminated leaves were intended to be mounted in calligraphy albums (muraqqa').
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