Sep 16, 2015
Sep 16, 2015

Calligraphy of Chaghatai Turkish Poems in Praise of Wine (verso)

Calligraphy of Chaghatai Turkish Poems in Praise of Wine (verso)

c. 1500–20

Part of a set. See all set records

calligraphy by

Mirza Muhammad

(probably Persian, active c. 1520s)

calligraphy by

and Sultan Muhammad Nur

(Persian, c. 1472–1536)

Ink on paper (verso)

Page: 36.2 x 24.3 cm (14 1/4 x 9 9/16 in.)

Gift in honor of Madeline Neves Clapp; Gift of Mrs. Henry White Cannon by exchange; Bequest of Louise T. Cooper; Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund; From the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection 2013.292.b



This page of delicately illuminated calligraphy from the pre-Mughal period was mounted into a Mughal album. The poems are written in the native language of the Mughals, a form of Turkish called Chaghatai, using a flowing form of Arabic script called nasta‘liq. The Mughals self-consciously adopted Persian as their official court language, so few Chaghatai books or works of calligraphy were made for them.

The quatrain in the center reads: The wine has made an attempt on my life, Since it is the wine that can wear down the pain of separation. O Sufi! Let the mosque be for you, and the tavern for me, Since you need to arrive at the Spring of Kowsar, while I am in need of wine! The Spring of Kowsar is where the righteous quench their thirst in the afterlife.

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