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Two Eminences Observed, folio from an album

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This drawing depicts a detailed landscape occupied by three figures: an old man and a princely figure facing each other at the center, and a youth watching them from behind a low hillock. The older figure—a man of learning and possibly an advisor—adopts a deferential pose, with his turbaned head tilted forward and down and his hands withdrawn into the long sleeves of his robe as a sign of respect. The princely man, who, as his beard indicates, has reached maturity, looks directly at his companion and gestures with both arms. His turban is elegantly wrapped, the cloth gathered in artful folds around a Safavid baton (taj-i ?aydari); he wears a ring on his left hand, carries a small bound book tucked inside his shirt, and holds a rounded object—a cushion, book, or container—between his arm and torso. The visual language of the poses suggests that he is inviting the older man to converse. The landscape conjures a hospitable setting for this subtle human interaction. The tree around which the two figures stand offers shelter to songbirds; from its roots flow a branching rivulet edged with rocks and flowering plants. Above the high horizon, the sky is full of clouds. The artist, who has been identified as Mirza ?Ali, has carefully modulated his use of line—whether uniform or varying in thickness—throughout the drawing. The hierarchy of thick and thin is logical: the figures and landscape elements are positioned in their respective spaces by firm delineation, while their individuality is defined by thinner lines or occasional washes that supply the details. An attribution at the lower edge of the drawing could be read as the name Manuchihr.
Department of Islamic & Later Indian Art [Charles Dikran Kelekian New York and Paris] sold; to Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood Belmont MA (by 1998-2002) gift; to Harvard Art Museums 2002. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art
Title: Two Eminences Observed, folio from an album
Description:
This drawing depicts a detailed landscape occupied by three figures: an old man and a princely figure facing each other at the center, and a youth watching them from behind a low hillock.
The older figure—a man of learning and possibly an advisor—adopts a deferential pose, with his turbaned head tilted forward and down and his hands withdrawn into the long sleeves of his robe as a sign of respect.
The princely man, who, as his beard indicates, has reached maturity, looks directly at his companion and gestures with both arms.
His turban is elegantly wrapped, the cloth gathered in artful folds around a Safavid baton (taj-i ?aydari); he wears a ring on his left hand, carries a small bound book tucked inside his shirt, and holds a rounded object—a cushion, book, or container—between his arm and torso.
The visual language of the poses suggests that he is inviting the older man to converse.
The landscape conjures a hospitable setting for this subtle human interaction.
The tree around which the two figures stand offers shelter to songbirds; from its roots flow a branching rivulet edged with rocks and flowering plants.
Above the high horizon, the sky is full of clouds.
The artist, who has been identified as Mirza ?Ali, has carefully modulated his use of line—whether uniform or varying in thickness—throughout the drawing.
The hierarchy of thick and thin is logical: the figures and landscape elements are positioned in their respective spaces by firm delineation, while their individuality is defined by thinner lines or occasional washes that supply the details.
An attribution at the lower edge of the drawing could be read as the name Manuchihr.

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