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Single Leaf of Courtiers at a Reception of Shah `Abbas I
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Single Leaf of Courtiers at a Reception of Shah `Abbas I

Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This painting, Walters manuscript leaf W.691, depicts courtiers of the Safavid ruler Shah 'Abbas I (reigned 996 AH/AD 1588-1038 AH/AD 1629). It is the right side of a double-page composition, which most likely served as a frontispiece to a manuscript. Certain courtiers of Shah 'Abbas I are identified by name. In the far upper right two men stand wearing turbans with vertical extensions held at the center, who are identified as Alpan Bik (Beg) (in a blue robe) and Qarajaghay Khan (in a red robe). Their headdress is distinctive of high-ranking members of court during the early 11th century AH/AD 17th. Qarajaghay Khan, an Armenian of the royal household, held a number of political positions at court and was an important patron of the arts. Standing lower down on the right side is Shah Vardi Bik Ishik Aqasi (literally master of the threshold, or master of ceremonies) (in a gold and black robe). An Uzbek envoy (ilchi-yi Uzbak) (in a beige and blue patterned robe) is seated on the carpet. Falconers, grooms, and a musician (Qubad-i Kurd) standing beside a man identified as Mirza 'Umar (?) Shaykh (in a red and gold robe) are also shown. There are 2 seated female figures, identified as Gulpari and Dukhtardallalah. The latter seems to denote a woman who procures slave girls for the palace. This single leaf has been associated with Reception at the court of Shah`Abbas I, also housed at the Walters Art Museum (W.771, fol. 50a). However, it is unlikely that the two ever formed a double-page composition.
  • Islamic Insights. Katonah Gallery, Katonah. 1980.
  • Painting in Iran, Sixteenth to Seventeenth Centuries. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1992.
  • The Book of Kings: Art, War, and the Morgan Library's Medieval Picture Bible. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Academy Art Museum, Easton; Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton; The Mitchell Gallery, Annapolis; Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown. 2002.
  • Shah 'Abbas and the Three Great Shi'i Shrines of the Safavids. The British Museum, London. 2009.
Provenance John Edward Taylor Sale, Christie's, London, July 5 1912, lot 3; purchased by Dikran Kelekian, 1912; purchased by Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1912-1913; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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mid 11th century AH/AD 17th century (Safavid)
ink and pigments on paper mounted on pasteboard
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
H: 15 9/16 x W: 9 1/4 in. (39.5 x 23.5 cm); Image H: 12 3/16 x W: 7 13/16 in. (31 x 19.8 cm)
  • Iran (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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