Lady with a Fan

Artist: Riza Abbasi (ca. 1565-1635)
Historical period(s)
Safavid period, ca. 1590-92
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
H x W (painting): 13.7 × 6.4 cm (5 3/8 × 2 1/2 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Album, Painting

Album leaf with painting

fan, Iran, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), woman

To 1932
Hagop Kevorkian (1872-1962), New York to 1932 [1]

From 1932
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Hagop Kevorkian, New York in 1932 [2]


[1] Object file, undated folder sheet note. See also Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file, Collections Management Office.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Hagop Kevorkian 1872-1962


Riza Abbasi, one of the most accomplished Persian painters, is also considered the unrivaled master of the genre of the single-page composition. Active from the late 1580s until his death in 1635, he was the leading artist at the court of Shah Abbas (1589-1629), the powerful Safavid ruler of Iran, but also worked for patrons outside the court. Lady with a Fan, one of his early works, carries Shah Abbas's seal, indicating that it was once part of a royal album. Signed "Aqa [master] Riza," the fine painting bears many of the artist's trademarks, such as his use of sweeping, controlled lines and broad areas of bright color that create a sense of volume. The woman's delicate ringlets and the folds of her diaphanous sleeves lend the image a sense of heightened refinement, another characteristic of Riza Abbasi's work.

Published References
  • Freer Gallery of Art. Gallery Book III: Exhibition of September 5, 1933. Washington, September 5, 1933. .
  • Armenag Sakisian. La Miniature Persane du XIIe au XVIIe siecle: Ouvrage accompagne de la reproduction de 193 miniatures dont deux en couleurs. Paris and Brussels. fig. 171.
  • Richard Ettinghausen, Ernst Kuhnel. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present. 6 vols., London and New York, 1938 - 1939. vol. 3: p. 1890.
  • Mehmet Aga-Oglu. Exhibition of Islamic Art. Exh. cat. San Francisco, February 24 - March 22, 1937. .
  • Dr. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy. Les Miniatures Orientales de la Collection Goloubew au Museum of Fine Arts Boston. vol. 13, Paris. pl. 23, no. 43.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Exhibition of 2500 Years of Persian Art. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 31, pp. 10-11.
  • B. W. Robinson. Persian Drawings from the 14th through the 19th Century. Drawings of the Masters New York. pp.23-4, 83, 136, pl. 51.
  • Sheila R. Canby, Azimuth Editions. The Rebellious Reformer: The Drawings and Paintings of Riza-yi Abbas of Isfahan. London. cat. 6, pp. 29-32, 180.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. The Brush of the Masters: Drawings from Iran and India. Exh. cat. Washington, 1978. cat. 19A, p. 55.
  • Sheila R. Canby. The Life and Work of the Painter Riza. Cambridge, Massachusetts. cat. 6, pp. 60-64, 273.
  • Eleanor Sims, Boris I. Marshak, Ernst Grube. Peerless Images: Persian Painting and its Sources. New Haven and London. p. 72.
  • Eric Schroeder. Persian Miniatures in the Fogg Museum of Art. Cambridge, Massachusetts. cat. 9, pp. 122, 127.
  • Laurence Binyon, J.V.S. Wilkinson, Basil Gray. Persian Miniature Painting: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Miniatures Exhibited at Burlington House, January-March 1931. Exh. cat. Oxford, January - March 1931. p. 165, no. 257.
  • Orient: Mille ans de poesie et de peinture., La petite collection. p. 218.
  • Abolala Soudavar, Milo Cleveland Beach. Art of the Persian Courts: Selections from the Art and History Trust Collection. New York. p. 252.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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