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An Old Sufi Laments His Lost Youth

Amir Khusraw Dihlavi1597-1598 (Mughal)

The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum

In this garden scene, an elderly sufi (an individual who follows the Islamic mystical tradition) gestures toward a handsome young man in an orange robe. On the left, a man tends to the soil, and on the right, a gardener washes his feet. The water channels, pools, flowerbeds, planted and paved areas, and pathways were typically seen in Mughal India, where garden design reached a high point. Notice how the components of the design are aligned, parallel and perpendicular. Chahar-bagh, the formal garden divided into four parts by straight water channels, was extremely popular in Iran and India.

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  • Title: An Old Sufi Laments His Lost Youth
  • Date Created: 1597-1598 (Mughal)
  • Physical Dimensions: w19 x h28.5 cm
  • Type: illuminated manuscripts; folios (leaves)
  • Rights: Acquired by Henry Walters, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
  • External Link: The Walters Art Museum
  • Medium: ink and pigments on laid paper
  • Provenance: Muhammad Zaki, 1241 AH/AD 1825-1826 [mode of acquisition unknown] [oval seal, fols. 1a, 211a]; 'abd al-raji Muhammad Shafi', 1247 AH/AD 1831-1832 [mode of acquisition unknown] [rectangular seal fols. 1a, 211a]; Muhammad 'Ali [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [large oval seal with no date on fol. 211a]; Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
  • Place of Origin: Lahore, Pakistan (?)
  • ExhibitionHistory: Pearls of the Parrot of India: The Emperor Akbar's Illustrated "Khamsa," 1597-1598. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 2005-2006
  • Author: Amir Khusraw Dihlavi


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