Asian Art
Maker: Khwaja Ghiyath ad-din ‘Ali, active late 16th–early 17th century

Textile Fragment with Figures, Animals, and Plants

late 16th–early 17th century

Triple cloth silk

8 7/8 × 16 5/16 in. (22.6 × 41.5 cm)
Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Gift of Mrs. William H. Moore
Poet, painter, mystic, and master weaver of the court of Shah Abbas, Khwaja Ghiyath ad-din ‘Ali is the most famous of the Safavid designers whose textiles bear their signatures. Scholars first noticed his name on a small number of silks early this century, and since then, his fabrics have emerged as some of the finest Persian textiles ever made. Here, Khwaja Ghiyath’s rendering of the figural elements enclosed in the pattern’s compartments betray his predilection for miniature painting. Reclining gentlemen, fox attacking geese, confronting cheetahs, lion’s heads, and assorted plant forms are typical of the elements that made up the personage textile patterns so popular during Ghiyath’s time. In this design, however, Ghiyath has ingeniously arranged the motifs within a nonpictorial space. The use of curvilinear compartments is unusual in lightweight silks of this kind, and may have been taken from carpets of the period.
Iranian/Persian, Islamic
Safavid dynasty (1501–1722)

Mrs. William H. Moore (1858–1955), New York, 1932; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


Loretta N Staples, A Sense of Pattern: Textile Masterworks from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1981), 27, no. 21, ill.

Kishwar Rizvi, “Art History and the Nation: Arthur Upham Pope and the Discourse on ‘Persian Art’ in the Early 20th Century,” Muquarnas: Journal of Islamic Art and Architecture 24 (2007): 45–65.

Robert Skelton, Persian Painting from the Mongols to the Qajars: Studies in Honour of Basil W. Robinson (Cambridge: University of Cambridge, 2000), 249–65.

David Ake Sensabaugh and Susan B. Matheson, “Ada Small Moore: Collector and Patron,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2002): 31–49.

Arthur Upham Pope and Phyllis Ackerman, Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present, 6 vols. (London: Oxford University Press, 1938), 2096, vol. 3, pl. 1040A.

Sylvia Houghteling, Affect, Emotion, and Subjectivity in Early Modern Muslim Empires : New Studies in Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Art and Culture, ed. Kishwar Rizvi, 9 (Boston: Brill, 2018), 127, fig. 5.1.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.