© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
1960.117.313
Title
Folio 313 (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: 14 x 7.2 cm (5 1/2 x 2 13/16 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
1960.117.313
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 has two horizontal breaks, while the verso has one.
The recto side contains the end of a qit‘a in which the poet asks for a pair of sandals and a qit‘a about contentment and freedom.
The verso side contains a qit‘a (fragment) entitled, “Complaint About His Contemporaries”, which corresponds to a painting (1960.117.314):
A fox was running, grieving for his life
Another fox saw him in such a state
And asked: “Please tell me, brother, what is wrong?”
He said: “The king is hunting donkeys here!”
“But you are not a donkey – so why fear?”
He answered: “That is right; but oh!, these men;
They do not know and they cannot discern
They think that fox and donkey are the same!”

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 119-121/figure 13

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 193, 243

Exhibition History

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

The Enlightened Eye: Gifts from John Goelet, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/12/2000 - 05/07/2000

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 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