Sep 29, 2010

Illuminated Folio from a Gulistan (Rose Garden) of Sa'di (c. 1213–1291)

Illuminated Folio from a Gulistan (Rose Garden) of Sa'di (c. 1213–1291)

calligraphy: c. 1475–1500; border: c. 1550

Part of a set. See all set records

Sultan 'Ali al-Mashadi

(Iranian, 1430–1520)

Gum tempera, ink, gold, and silver on paper

Gift of William Kelly Simpson in memory of his wife Marilyn M. Simpson and her grandparents Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. 2006.147


Did you know?

The book’s name means “rose garden” in Persian; just as a rose garden is a collection of flowers, the contents are a collection of anecdotes.


The border scene is set in a magical forest bursting with blossoms. At the top, a winged lion chases a winged deer, who is caught in the bottom border. The imagery of a lion biting down on its prey dates from the Achaemenid period in Iran (550–330 BCE) and references the valor of the king. A fox scurries off to the right.

The verse is written in the Persian language using nastaliq script. Sultan ‘Ali Mashadi was widely renowned for perfecting the nastaliq script, and his calligraphy was a model for many followers across the Islamic world.

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