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Asian Art

The Prophet Muhammad Ascends to the Heavens

17th century

Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

sheet: 10 5/16 × 7 1/4 in. (26.2 × 18.4 cm)
framed: 19 1/4 × 14 1/4 in. (48.9 × 36.2 cm)
The Vera M. and John D. MacDonald, B.A. 1927, Collection, Gift of Mrs. John D. MacDonald
2001.138.2
The three poems accompanying this painting describe the prophet Muhammad’s journey to Jerusalem and Mecca, after which he ascended to heaven accompanied by angels and riding Buraq, a mythical horse with a human face. The use of a veil to cover the prophet’s face is a Safavid convention.
Geography: 
Iran
Culture: 
Iranian/Persian, Islamic
Period: 
Safavid dynasty (1501–1722)
Classification: 
Works on Paper - Manuscripts
Provenance: 

Possibly Kirkor Minassian Collection, New York and Paris; Sale Collection Sevadjian, Paris, March 1961, lot 154; Vera M. MacDonald and John D. MacDonald, Boston, Mass., 1961; given to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2001

Bibliography: 

Kishwar Rizvi, “Islamic Art at the Yale University Art Gallery,” Arts of Asia (March–April 2018): 101, fig. 15.

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.