verso © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
1960.117.208
People
Unknown Artist
Title
You Make Sweet Life Increase (painting, verso; text, recto), folio 208 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: 15.4 x 14 cm (6 1/16 x 5 1/2 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
1960.117.208
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
The recto side of the folio features a painting depicting an enthroned figure, identified through the accompanying text as Khwaja Mansur. He looks towards a line of attendants. In the foreground, an attendant hands out favors to beggars on behalf of the king. The painting features two text blocks containing Persian text written in nasta’liq script and black ink. The text is 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 verso side of the folio features two columns of rows of Persian text written in black ink and nasta’liq script. At the bottom of the columns is a small rectangle that also contains Persian text written in black ink and nasta’liq script.

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 93-95/figure 6

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 186, 243

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, 11/01/2014 - 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