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Identification and Creation
Object Number
1960.117.172
People
Attributed to Mahesh, Indian
Title
Folio 172 (text, recto and verso), from a manuscript of the Divan (Collection of Works) of Anvari
Classification
Manuscripts
Work Type
manuscript folio
Date
1588
Places
Creation Place: South Asia, Pakistan, Punjab, Lahore
Period
Mughal period
Culture
Indian
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Dimensions
folio: 13.97 x 7.62 cm (5 1/2 x 3 in.)
Provenance
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
1960
Object Number
1960.117.172
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
The recto and verso side of the folio features two columns of Persian text written in black ink and nasta’liq script. The recto side of the folio contains the second half of a qasida (a panegyric in praise of a king or nobleman) that praises Majduddin Abu’l-Hasan al-‘Imrani, who most likely introduced Anvari to Sultan Sanjar. This is followed by a poem that corresponds to a painting (1960.117.173) on gardening:

It’s the day for the garden, for cheer and for joy;
It’s the day for the markey of basil and rose.
The dust is all mixed with amber and musk;
The skirt of the zephyr spreads fragrance and scents.

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 of 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.
Publication History

Annemarie Schimmel and Stuart Cary Welch, Anvari's Divan: A Pocket Book for Akbar: a Divan of Auhaduddin Anvari, copied for the Mughal emperor Jalaluddin Akbar (r. 1556-1605) at Lahore in A.H. 996 A.D. 1588 now in the Fogg Art Museum of Harvard University, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY, 1983), page 85-87/figure 4

40 Years On... Donations by John Goelet: Sculpture, Paintings and Drawings, Miniatures and Calligraphy, Tankas and Mandala, M. T. Train and Scala Books (New York, NY, 2000), page 184, 243

Exhibition History

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

Akbar's India: Art from the Mughal City of Victory, Asia Society Galleries, New York, 10/10/1985 - 01/05/1986; Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/24/1986 - 03/16/1986

32Q: 2590 South and Southeast Asia, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/01/2014 - 05/14/2015

Related Works

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be 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