Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | History of Shah Esmāʿil (tāriḵ-e ʿālām-ārā-ye šāh esmāʿil)

Manuscript M, SE_10 (Reza Abbasi Museum folio 11)

Shaikh Zāhed Gilāni Appointing Shaikh Ṣafi to be His Successor as Head Mystic

Shaikh Gilāni, on his deathbed, appointed Shaikh Ṣafi, to whom Esmāʿil traced his lineage, as his heir instead of his own son Jamāl al-Din ʿAli. Gilāni died in 700/1301 at Siāhrud, in the province of Gilān.

In the painting Shaikh Ṣafi is kneeling with arms outstretched before a domed, tiled, hexagonal shaped pavilion. The more elderly, white bearded, Shaikh Zāhed Gilāni kneels in almost parallel position before him. Five followers, one kneeling and the remainder standing, occupy the right foreground facing the principle characters, gesturing their pledges to the new leader. An attendant with hands clasped and an envelope under his arm stands behind the two shaikhs. Two cypress trees and a chenār emerge from behind a red fence in the right background; beyond them is a stylized pink rock formation and a gold sky. The dominant colors are a rose pink of strong hue, and a beige used for the tiled pavilion and some of the robes. Green and brown are used for the trees and some of the other robes, while the remainder are executed in blue, orange, and maroon.

Location: Reza Abbasi Museum, Tehran, No.77.1.7, folio 11
Folio size:
35.6 x 21.6 cm. wide (after Mahboubian)
18.7 x 13.1 cm. (after Mahboubian)
Written surface:
22.5 cm. (scaled) x 13.1 cm. wide. One line of text above and below the painting. Frame encloses painting and text.
Inscriptions: A marginal inscription in red, possibly of later date, describes the event depicted. Inscriptions in the same hand and color on the figures identify Shaikh Gilāni and Shaikh Ṣafi. The painting is not signed.

Painting references:
Mahboubian_1972, #923 folio 11 (not illustrated).

Text references:
See Muntaẓer-Ṣāḥeb_1970, p.10 for this event in the History of Shah Esmāʿil.
See Savory, SA_1979, p.23 for this event in the History of Shah ʿĀbbās.
Savory, Safavids_1980, p.8

Robert Eng
Last Updated: October 3, 2011 | Updated: November 30, 2010 |
Originally published: March 28, 2002