Earthly Drunkenness (Painting Recto; Text Verso), Illustrated Folio From A Manuscript Of Divan Of Hafiz
Identification and Creation
Object Number
1988.460.2
People
Sultan Muhammad, Persian ( 16th century)
Title
Earthly Drunkenness (painting recto; text verso), illustrated folio from a manuscript of Divan of Hafiz
Classification
Manuscripts
Work Type
manuscript folio
Date
c. 1530
Places
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran, Tabriz
Period
Safavid period
Culture
Persian
Location
Level 2, Room 2550, Art from Islamic Lands
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Physical Descriptions
Medium
Ink, color, gold and silver on paper
Dimensions
actual: 28.7 x 35.5 cm (11 5/16 x 14 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: The work of Sultan-Muhammad of 'Iraq
Provenance
Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Cary Welch, Jr., Contoocook, NH, (by 1988), gift; to Harvard University Art Museums, 1988.
Aquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Stuart Cary Welch Collection, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Cary Welch in honor of the students of Harvard University and Radcliffe College, Jointly owned by the Harvard Art Museums and the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Accession Year
1988
Object Number
1988.460.2
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
Descriptions

Label Text: Paintings for Princes: The Art of the Book in Islam, written 1990
Heavenly and Earthly Drunkenness
Signed, “The work of Sultan-Muhammad of 'Iraq”
From a Divan (Collected Works) of Hafiz
Iran, Safavid Tabriz
Manuscript ca. 1527
Opaque watercolor on paper
Promised gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Cary Welch, Jr. in honor of the students of Harvard University and Radcliffe College. Partially owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Harvard University Art Museums.
1988.460

Label Text: Five Masters of Persian and Indian Painting, written 1992
Worldly and Otherworldly Drunkenness
From the Divan (Poetical Anthology) of Hafiz, folio 137a
Persian, Tabriz, Safavid, 1526–27
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Promised gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Cary Welch, Jr. partially owned by the Metropolitain Museum of Art and The Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University, 1988. In honor of the students of Harvard University and Radcliffe College.
1988.460

Label Text: The Heavenly Court: Persian Poetry and Painting, written 1985
31. Allegory of Drunkenness
from a Divan of Hafiz
attributable to Sultan Muhammad
Iran, Isfahan, ca.1526–27
Private Collection 717.1983

Worldly and other-worldly intoxication, the sacred and the profane, the temporal and the timeless come together in this painting. The inscription at the top reads (translated by M. Dickson):
The angel of mercy took the reveling cup and tossed it down,
As rose-water, on the cheeks of houris and angels.

Label Text: Divinely Inspired: Images of Mystics and Mendicants, written 1999
Sultan Muhammad
Allegory of Heavenly and Earthly Drunkenness
Folio from a Divan of Hafiz
Iran (Tabriz) , Safavid period, 1526/27
Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Cary Welch, Jr. in honor of the students of Harvard University and Radcliffe College (promised gift).
Partially owned by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Harvard University Art Museums.
1988.460

Sultan Muhammad, one of the most famous Persian artists, painted this literal and marvelously comedic interpretation of divine intoxication for a manuscript of the Divan of Hafiz commissioned by Sam Mirza, a Safavid prince. The poet himself is included in the composition, sitting in a window with wine bottle and cup, staring wide-eyed at the goings-on all around him. In a room below Hafiz, one youth dispenses wine from huge jars while another sends empty ewers down by rope from a balcony to the ground, for replenishment. Young and old Sufis drink, twist, and spin about with wild abandon to music provided by a group of musicians who have been joined by three traveling qalandars clad in furry cloaks . Here, even the angels can enjoy the pleasures of the vine while seated on the rooftop. Above the angels a couplet from one of Hafiz's ghazals is inscribed:
"The angel of mercy took the reveling cup and tossed it down,
As rose-water, on the cheeks of houris and angels."

Label Text: Islamic Art: East and West, written 1982
Iran, Safavid, Tabriz, ca. 1526–27
Allegory of Drunkenness
From a Divan (Collected Works) of Hafiz, folio 135a
Signed by Sultan-Muhammad
Private Collection TL17443.4

Label Text: Early Safavid Painting 1501 - 1576, written 1987
Allegory of Drunkenness
From the Divan (The Collected Works) of Hafiz
Signed: Sultan-Muhammad
Persian, Safavid, Tabriz, 1526 – 27
Opaque watercolor on paper
Private Collection
717.1983

Publication History

Armenag Sakisian, La Miniature Persane du XIIe au XVIIe Siecle, Les Editions G. van Oest (Paris, France, 1929), page 80/figure 144

Laurence Binyon and J. V. S. Wilkinson, Persian Miniature Painting: Including a Critical and Descriptive Catalogue of the Miniatures Exhibited at Burlington House January-March, 1931, exh. cat., Oxford University Press (NY) and Oxford University Press (UK) (London, England, 1933), p. 128, fig. LXXV

Basil William Robinson, Drawings of the Masters: Persian Drawings from the 14th through the 19th Century, Shorewood Publishers Inc. (New York, NY, 1965), pp.134, plate 33

Stuart Cary Welch, Persian Painting: Five Royal Safavid Manuscripts of the Sixteenth Century, George Braziller (New York, 1976), pp. 68, 69/ plate 18

Stuart Cary Welch, A King's Book of Kings: The Shah-Nameh of Shah Tahmasp, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1976), p. 58

Stuart Cary Welch, Wonders of the Age: Masterpieces of Early Safavid Painting, 1501-1576, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1979), pp.128-129, fig. 44

Martin Bernard Dickson and Stuart Cary Welch, The Houghton Shahnameh, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1981), pp. 38; 56-58; 66; 69; 70 / fig. 38; 51-55; 71; 84; 86

Michele de Angelis and Thomas W. Lentz, Architecture in Islamic Painting: Permanent and Impermanent Worlds, brochure, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, Mass, 1982)

History of the World, brochure, Asahi Shimbun Press (Tokyo, Japan, 1989), A-246

Sheila Blair, ed., Images of Paradise In Islamic Art, exh. cat., University of Tennessee Press (Austin, TX, 1991), p. 105, fig. 44

Sheila Blair and Jonathan Bloom, Art and Architecture of Islam: 1250 - 1800 (New Haven, CT, 1994), p. 169, fig. 211

Jerry H. Combee, History of the World in Christian Perspective, Beka Book Publication (Pensacola, FL, 1995)

James Cuno, Harvard's Art Museums: 100 Years of Collecting, Harvard University Art Museums/Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (Cambridge, MA, 1996), page 134-135

Sarah Coakley, ed., Religion and the Body, Cambridge University Press (U.K.) (Cambridge, England, 1997), p. 266

Albert Craig, The Heritage of World Civilizations, Prentice Hall (Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1997), p. 645

Oleg Grabar, Mostly Miniatures: An Introducation to Persian Painting, Princeton University Press (Princeton, 2000), p 68/fig 31

Bernard Lewis, A Middle East Mosaic, Random House (New York, 2000), p. 374

Studies In Islamic and Later Indian Art From the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2002), p. 10, fig. 1; details on p. 8 and cover

John Renard, Historical Dictionary of Sufism, Scarecrow Press (Maryland, 2005), fig. 13

The Tangled Braid: Ninety-nine Poems by Hafiz of Shiraz, Fons Vitae (Louisville, KY, 2009), p. xx, and detail on book cover

Farid al-Din Attar, Layli Anvar, and Michael Barry, Le Cantique des Oiseaux: illustré par la peinture en Islam d’orient, Diane de Selliers (Paris, 2012), p. 310, ill. pp. 311-312

Esin Atil, "Humor and Wit in Islamic Art", Asian Art & Culture, ed. Karen Sagstetter, Oxford University Press (NY) (New York, NY, Fall/Winter 1994), vol. 7, no. 1, p. 21, fig. 10

Exhibition History

The Heavenly Court: Persian Poetry and Painting, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 02/09/1985 - 03/31/1985

Paintings for Princes: The Art of the Book in Islam, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/27/1990 - 03/25/1990

The Here and the Hereafter: Images of Paradise in Islamic Art, Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, 03/16/1991 - 05/26/1991

Five Masters of Persian and Indian Painting, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/11/1992 - 03/09/1992

Divinely Inspired: Images of Mystics and Mendicants, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/16/1999 - 03/29/1999

Related Works
Verification Level

3 - Good. Object is well described and information is vetted