Ascetic in Meditation Artist, attributed to: Mu'in Musavvir (Persian, ca. 1610–1693)

17th century

Asian Art

Not on view

The tiny rodent in the foreground of this painting is drinking from a blue-and-white Chinese porcelain bowl, a ceramic type that was revered and collected in Safavid Iran. The introverted ascetic’s complete lack of interest in this rare luxury item, however, suggests that he has reached a spiritual state beyond such petty concerns.


Ink and opaque watercolor on paper


without mounting: 4 7/16 × 2 1/2 in. (11.3 × 6.4 cm)
with mounting: 10 5/8 × 8 3/16 in. (27 × 20.8 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.



Sale Collection Sevadjian, Paris, March, 1961 lot 7; sold to Vera M. MacDonald and John D. MacDonald, Boston, Mass., 1961; given to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2001
  • 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), cover ill., ill
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

human figures (visual works)

Technical metadata and APIs


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