The Prophet Muhammad Ascends to the Heavens Artist: Unknown

17th century

Asian Art

On view, 2nd floor, Asian Art

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.


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)

Credit Line

The Vera M. and John D. MacDonald, B.A. 1927, Collection, Gift of Mrs. John D. MacDonald

Accession Number



Safavid dynasty (1501–1722)


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 records is ongoing.



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

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

Object copyright

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