Two Youths Embracing

Historical period(s)
Safavid period, 1630s
Drawing; ink, watercolor, and gold on paper
H x W (drawing): 22.9 × 14 cm (9 × 5 1/2 in)
Iran, Isfahan
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 03: Engaging the Senses

Album leaf with drawing

Iran, nasta'liq script, Safavid period (1501 - 1722)
Provenance research underway.

The concept of love is the main focus of Two Youths Embracing. Conforming to the ideals of seventeenth-century painting, the artist of this finely tinted drawing has relied on gestures and poses to evoke the idea of love and intimacy between the two idealized youths. The entwined tree trunk, the swirling shawl, and the position of the bottles in the foreground further heighten the underlying meaning of the composition.

Published References
  • Joseph Allen Boone. The Homoerotics of Orientalism. New York. .
  • Dr. Esin Atil. The Brush of the Masters: Drawings from Iran and India. Exh. cat. Washington, 1978. cat. 22, p. 59.
  • 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. 309, p. 171.
  • A.M. Kevorkian. Les Jardins du Desir: Sept Siecles de Peinture Persane. Paris. pp. 254-255.
  • Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art. Exh. cat. London. cat. 693, p. 285.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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