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Painting depicting a man seated on a gold throne, addressing 3 figures. Nine other figures crowd the lower corners, while a horse and its handlers watch from the upper right. There are captions in the top and bottom left, and the image is enclosed in a gold rectangular border.
2016.3.1, The king addressing his three sons

© The Aga Khan Museum

Plain beige rectangular sheet of paper, affixed to a darker brown rectangular mat.
2016.3.1, The king addressing his three sons, Back

© The Aga Khan Museum

Click on the image to zoom

The King on His Throne Regarding his Three Sons
Folio from a manuscript of Masnavi-i Ma‘navi (The Spiritual Couplets)
  • Accession Number:2016.3.1
  • Creator:Author: Jalal al-Din Rūmī (Maulana), Persian, 1207 - 1273
  • Place:Iran, Tabriz
  • Dimensions:22.6 × 17.6 cm
  • Date:ca. 1530
  • Materials and Technique:ink, opaque watercolour, and gold on paper
  • Purchased with funds provided by Karim and Shainoor Khoja, Moez and Sultana Mangalji, and Minhaz and Farzana Vellani.

The Aga Khan Museum is committed to continually expanding its collection, and this showcase is dedicated to displaying new acquisitions. This painting, from an illustrated manuscript of poetry made in a 16th-century royal workshop, affirms the long tradition of Iranian rulers who were great connoisseurs of art and patrons of artists—a tradition said to have originated with King Kayumars, the legendary first king of Iran in Firdausi’s great epic tale, the Shahnameh (Book of Kings). The scene depicted here comes from the sixth chapter of the Masnavi-i Ma‘navi, in which a king describes to his three sons the joys and risks of exploring the world.

Note: This online resource is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. We are committed to improving this information and will revise and update knowledge about this object as it becomes available.

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