Bearded Man Reading in a Landscape

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Bearded Man Reading in a Landscape

Iran, Isfahan, dated AH 1045/ AD 1635
Manuscripts; folios
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
5 9/16 x 7 13/16 in. (14.1 x 19.9 cm) Frame: 20 × 15 × 1 1/2 in. (50.8 × 38.1 × 3.81 cm)
The Nasli M. Heeramaneck Collection, gift of Joan Palevsky (M.73.5.26)
Not currently on public view

Curator Notes

The style of painting that emerged in seventeenth-century Isfahan is closely associated with the artist Riza-yi ‘Abbasi (d. 1635), and it continued to be practiced by his followers for several decades. Perhaps the best-known painter of this later generation is Mu‘in Musavvir (Mu‘in the painter) (d. 1690s), whose long life and career are documented in the unusually detailed captions he often inscribed on his pictures, including one in which he refers to Riza as his teacher. This lightly tinted drawing of a reclining man by Mu‘in is based on a model by Riza, attesting to the master-disciple relationship shared by these two painters. The text within the book held by the man reads, "The old boss made me run fast barefooted in that lane like European slaves," and "Drawn by Mu'in [Musavvir] in the year 1045." The inscription near the left edge reads, "On Thursday there was a discussion of the bow-case. On the 25th of Rajab [it was completed]. May it be blessed."


  • Pal, Pratapaditya, ed.  Islamic Art:  The Nasli M. Heeramaneck Collection.  Los Angeles:  Museum Associates, 1973.
  • Taylor, Alice. Book Arts of Isfahan: Diversity and Identity in Seventeenth-Century Persia. Malibu, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995.