Asian Art
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Seven Paintings of Figures in Landscapes

painting: early 17th c. calligraphy: 1587

Opaque watercolor on paper

image (A): 3 3/4 × 1 15/16 in. (9.5 × 4.9 cm) image (B): 3 3/4 × 2 3/16 in. (9.5 × 5.5 cm) image (C): 3 13/16 × 1 15/16 in. (9.7 × 5 cm) image (D): 3 3/4 × 1 15/16 in. (9.6 × 5 cm) image (E): 3 3/4 × 2 in. (9.6 × 5.1 cm) image (F): 3 13/16 × 1 15/16
Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Bequest of Mrs. William H. Moore
1955.7.33.1-.7
These cards feature poems written in fine calligraphy on one side and paintings of people in nature on the other. The signed calligraphy examples are at least three decades older than the paintings, which suggests that the calligraphy sheets were collected and the paintings added to create a cohesive set. The poems have diverse subjects—some are quatrains about love, while others discuss proper conduct—and the paintings depict the types of people one might have encountered in seventeenth-century Iran, including a man who is refined and proper, or a drunkard. One painting shows a man holding a book and pointing at two birds carrying a stick, a literary allusion to the story of the tortoise and the birds that exists in both India and Greece. Together, this group of cards reflects the taste and humor of the literary urban elite in the new Safavid capital, Isfahan.
Culture: 
Persian, Iranian, Persian, Islamic
Period: 
Safavid dynasty (1501–1732)
Classification: 
Paintings
Status: 
On view
Provenance: 

P. Jackson Higgs Gallery, 1925, NY
Possible to date this box because of its similarity to a scene traced from a box which Sir William Ouseley brought back from Persia in 1812. He himself was presented to the Shah, and relates that the tracing gave a fair rendering of the personages.

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.