Art

Youth Dressed as a Dervish, folio from an album

To save your search or Lightbox, log in or create an account

Persian (c. 1560-70 - 1635)
Youth Dressed as a Dervish, folio from an album, c.1630
Album Folio
Persian
,
17th century
Safavid period
Creation Place: Isfahan, Iran
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
32.3 x 20.4 cm (12 11/16 x 8 1/16 in.)
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art
, 2002.50.19
Department of Islamic & Later Indian Art
,
Description
A youthful dervish, his clothing rendered in uniformly dark hues of cool green, purple, and brown that contrast with the warm pink of his face and hands, is posed against a ground of ivory-colored paper, unpainted save for a common repertoire of golden landscape elements. He wears a plumed wool cap, carries a staff over his shoulder, and offers a sprig of yellow, red, and gray leaves to a companion beyond the picture frame. An inscription that reads, raqm/raqam-i kamina Riza-yi ?Abbasi (work of the humble Riza ?Abbasi)—the customary wording of the artist’s signed works—appears at the lower left. Although raqm or raqam ordinarily means “writing” or “figuring,” here it makes more sense translated as “work” or “design.” Riza’s frequent use of this term in his signatures suggests a conceptual blurring of the boundaries between the arts of writing and of depicting and, in addition, may represent a claim of entitlement to the high status accorded to calligraphers.
Provenance
The Hagop Kevorkian Fund, 1976, sold; through [Sotheby, London, 12 April 1976] sold; to [Mansour Gallery, London, before 1995], sold; to Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood, Belmont, MA (by 1995-2002) gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2002.
Bibliography
Mary McWilliams, "With Quite Different Eyes: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art", Apollo, ed. David Ekserdjian (November 2002), vol. CLVI no. 490, pp. 12-16, p.13, fig. 6

Harvard University Art Museums, Harvard University Art Museums Annual Report 2001-2002, (Cambridge, MA, 2003), p. 20

Mary McWilliams, Closely Focused, Intensely Felt: Selections from the Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, brochure, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2004)

Yvonne Tan, "Strolling Through Isfahan: Seventeenth Century Paintings from Safavid Iran", The Asian Art Newspaper, ed. Sarah Callaghan, Sarah Callaghan (London, 2010), Vol. 13, Issue 6, p.13-14, article p.13-14, image p. 14

Mary McWilliams, ed., In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, exh. cat., ed. Mary McWilliams Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2013), pp. 134-135, p. 139; p. 141, ill.; ill.; p. 256, cat. 122, ill.

Exhibition History
Closely Focused, Intensely Felt: Selections from the Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/07/2004 - 01/02/2005
Re-View: S231 (Islamic rotation: 4) Strolling Through Isfahan: Seventeenth-Century Paintings From Safavid Iran, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 01/08/2010 - 06/13/2010
In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/31/2013 - 06/01/2013