- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
- Folio 313 (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
- Physical Descriptions
- Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
- folio: 14 x 7.2 cm (5 1/2 x 2 13/16 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 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, 11/16/2014 - 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 email@example.com