A complete manuscript of 460 folios measuring 28.5 cm. wide x 46.5 cm high overall, including 42 paintings and three illuminated pages. The text is written in medium size elegant nastāʿliq, 31 lines to the page in four column format. The copyist, Bin Šams al-Din Šayḵ Moḥammad signed the text in two places. The amount and position of calligraphy on those folios with paintings varies, but it always follows a four column format. 21 of the 42 paintings are signed by, or can be associated with the style of Moʿin Moṣavver. The remaining paintings are signed by, or attributable to Moḥammad al-Zamān, ʿAli Naqi ebn Šayḵ ʿAbbāsi, and an unknown Pir Beg (or Ḡolām Parmāk).
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Alexander Smith Cochran, 1913, Acq. 13.228.17 (Cochran 4)
The manuscript itself contains several dates over a period of 35 years. The calligraphy was apparently accomplished in six years, being dated 1074/1663 on folio 238, and 1079/1669 on folio 460. The paintings are of a later period and are dated between 1104/1693 and 1109/1698. The manuscript was apparently rebound in 1255/1839, and to this date may be assigned the finely painted lacquer covers.
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art
J&Y_1914, pp. 28-38, were the first to publish the manuscript. Their particulars for the manuscript are given in great detail and are quite accurate. However, their attributions of the paintings in some cases are not totally reliable. Robinson, Cochran4_1972, pp. 73-86, points out several discrepencies in the attributions made by Jackson and Yohannan. Robinson questions the reading of the artist’s signature on folio 43v, which he felt may be Pir Beg and not Ḡolām Parmāk as J&Y claimed; the three paintings signed with the invocation yā s̱āḥeb al-zamān, attributed by J&Y to an otherwise unknown Āqā Nuyān, is attributed by Robinson to Moḥammad Zamān; but most importantly, in the present context, Robinson points out that the authors seem to have overlooked completely the signature of Moʿin Moṣavver which appears in the lower margin of 14 of the paintings. He considered 21 of the 42 paintings by Moʿin, and suggests that the miniscule signature of Fażl ʿAli that appears on 18 of them, often in addition to Moʿin’s name at the bottom, is the signature of a student or assistant who may have finished paintings that were designed and in large measure executed by the master. Robinson illustrates 21 of the manuscripts 42 paintings, including nine that he attributes to Moʿin.
Last Updated: January 27, 2011 | Originally published: May 6, 2003