© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Unknown Artist
Folio 209 (text, recto and verso), from a manuscript of the Divan (Collection of Works) of Anvari
Work Type
manuscript folio
Creation Place: South Asia, Pakistan, Punjab, Lahore
Mughal period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
folio: 15.4 x 14 cm (6 1/16 x 5 1/2 in.)
Louis J. Cartier collection. John Goelet, New York, NY, (by 1960), gift; to Fogg Art Museum, 1960.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of John Goelet, formerly in the collection of Louis J. Cartier
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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The recto and verso side of the folio features two columns of Persian text written in black ink and nasta’liq script. The verso side has a separate text block at the bottom of the two columns that contains Persian text written in black ink and nasta’liq script.
The recto side contains part of a qasida (a panegyric in praise of a king or nobleman) that praises Khwaja Mansur and a description of the Mansuriyya palace and garden, as well as a praise poem for the grand vizier, Nasiruddin Tahir:
How incredible [you are], you garden and you palace of Mansur!
Perhaps you are a heaven sent by God into the world?
Even if you are not paradise – you are surely not of this world,
For this world makes life diminish,
And you make sweet life increase …

The folio belongs to an illustrated copy of the Divan of Anvari commissioned by the Mughal emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605) in 1588 and in Lahore. The poet Anvari (1126-1189) is considered one of the greatest figures in Persian literature. His panegyric in honor of the Seljuq sultan, Ahmad Sanjar (r. 1118-1157) earned him royal favor and the patronage from two of Sanjar’s successors. Anvari’s poems were collected in a Divan, which contains eulogies, satire, panegyrics, and other forms of poetry and prose.

Exhibition History

Anvari's Divan: A Pocket Book for Akbar, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 02/07/1984 - 03/28/1984

32Q: 2590 South and Southeast Asia, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 05/14/2015

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

Related Works

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu