Moʿin Moṣavver | Individual Drawings and Paintings

Drawing circa 1645.1

The Cloth Merchant

Location: Smithsonian Institution, Freer Gallery of Art, no. F1953.43; formerly in the Sarre Collection, Berlin
Ink Drawing; (H x W) 17.1 x 11.5 cm.
Signature: Circa 1645. Not signed or dated.

No inscription.

A bearded man wearing a long robe and a turban is kneeling on a small carpet, holding a piece of material in his hands as if offering it to a potential customer. Another piece of cloth, a pair of scissors, a pen, ink, and paper are placed on the ground before him.

Sarre-Mittwoch, ZRA_1914, pl. 32.
BWG_1933, no. 331 (not ill.)
Stchoukine, SA_1964, p.64 (not ill.).

The drawing is executed with sureness and verve in a style that owes a debt to Reżā ʿAbbåsi, but is already divorced from Reżā’s style. Although it is unsigned, Stchoukine has suggested that the drawing might be by Moʿin Moṣavver. The portrayal of the facial features bears a general similarity in handling to those of the man depicted in Moʿin’s Lovers (cf. 1642.2), but without a more specific authenticated comparison, the attribution, while possible, can only be tentatively suggested. Its inclusion in the Sarre sketchbook with other works of the late 1630’s and early 1640’s would suggest a similar dating for this miniature as well.

Photo courtesy of The Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, © The Freer Gallery of Art

Robert Eng

Last Updated: October 29, 2018 | Originally published:
October 29, 2018