Album page: The Garden of Heavenly Creatures

Historical period(s)
Safavid period, mid-16th century
Ink, color wash, and gold on paper
H x W (drawing): 27.9 × 17.3 cm (11 × 6 13/16 in)
Probably Iran
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Album, Drawing

Album leaf with drawing

angel, dance, garden, Iran, music, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), tree
Provenance research underway.

Set in a garden, the image depicts a group of angels, referred to as huris or paris in Persian, entertaining their queen by playing music, dancing, and serving food and wine. The drawing's lively mood echoes other Persian representations of outdoor banquets or bazm (a form of celebration with wine and music) ceremonies, with the exception that this fine drawing features heavenly creatures--a favorite subject matter in sixteenth-and seventeenth-century Iran and Turkey--instead of the princely figures seen in illustrations to lyrical poetry by Hafiz and Assar.

Published References
  • Josef Strzygowski. Asiatische Miniaturemalerei im Anschluss an Wesen und Werden der Mogulmalerei. Klagenfurt, Austria. pl. 72, ill. 200.
  • Philipp Walter Schulz. Die Persisch-Islamische Miniaturmalerei: Ein Beitrag zur Kunstgeschichte Irans. 2 vols, Leipzig. vol. 2: pl. 72.
  • Friedrich Paul Theodor Sarre, Mme. Maria Sarre. Katalog der Austellung im Stadelschen Kunstinstitut. Frankfurt am Main. .
  • Friedrich Paul Theodor Sarre, Fredrik Robert Martin. Die Ausstellung von Meisterwerken Muhammedanischer Kunst in Muchen, 1910. 3 vols., Munich. cat. 683, vol. 1, pl. 21.
  • Fredrik Robert Martin. The Miniature Painting and Painters of Persia, India, and Turkey from the 8th to the 18th Century. 2 vols., London. vol. 1: p. 33, vol. 2: pl. 57.
  • Persian Art: An Illustrated Souvenir of the Exhibition of Persian Art at Burlington House. Exh. cat. London, January - March, 1931. pl. 31a.
  • Oleg Grabar. Masterpieces of Islamic Art: The Decorated Page from the 8th to the 17th Century., English ed. New York. .
  • Edwin M. Wright. The Horse in Middle Eastern Symbolism. vol. 6, no. 8, September - October 1966. p. 18.
  • Ernst Kuhnel. Miniaturmalerei im Islamischen Orient. Die Kunst des Ostens Berlin. pp. 32, 56-57, pl. 47.
  • Najmieh Batmanglij. From Persia to Napa: Wine at the Persian Table. Washington. p. 38.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. The Brush of the Masters: Drawings from Iran and India. Exh. cat. Washington, 1978. cat. 13, pp. 40-41.
  • Paula Henderson, Adam Mornement. Treehouses. London. p. 43, fig. 31.
  • Donald N. White. Persian Gardens and Garden Pavilions. Tokyo and Rutland, Vermont. p. 47, fig. 16.
  • Ernst Kuhnel. Persische Miniaturmalerei. Meisterwerke Aussereuropaischer Malerei Berlin. p. 52.
  • Ernst Kuhnel. Islamische Kleinkunst: ein Handbuch fur Sammler and Liebhaber. Bibliothek fur Kunst, 2nd ed. Braunschweig, Germany. p. 67, pl. 29.
  • 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. pp. 81-82, pl. 61.
  • Walter B. Denny. Dating Ottoman Turkish Works in the Saz Style in Istanbul. vol. 1 Leiden. p. 114.
  • 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. cat. 158, p. 136.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Emperors, Peris, and Demons in Near Eastern Art. Washington, November 1978. p. 144.
  • Emile Dermenghem. Mahomet et la Tradition Islamique. Bourges, France. p. 149.
  • The House of Boughs: A Sourcebook of Garden Designs, Structures, and SUpplies. New York. p. 181.
  • Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art. Exh. cat. London. cat. 499, p. 246.
  • Fereshteh Daftari. The Influence of "Persian Art" on Gauguin, Matisse, and Kandinsky. Ann Arbor. pp. 276, 287, fig. 139.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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