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PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG MAN
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PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG MAN

SIGNED MUHAMMAD QASIM, SAFAVID ISFAHAN, MID-17TH CENTURY

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PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG MAN
SIGNED MUHAMMAD QASIM, SAFAVID ISFAHAN, MID-17TH CENTURY
Pen and ink on buff paper with gold floral illumination, a young man stands on a rock, a coat over his arm and holding a cup in his left hand, around him occasional foliage and cloud bands, next to him the signature of Muhammad Qasim, to the left of the composition a band of calligraphy, with two panels of black nasta'liq in clouds reserved against gold ground around a central panel of gold and polychrome illumination, all laid down within a minor border of gold scrolling vine and gold, green, white and blue rule on pale blue card with repeating foliate motif, later owners' stamps, small areas of damage and staining
Miniature 8 5/8 x 3 7/8in. (21.9 x 9.9cm.); folio 14 5/8 x 8in. (37.3 x 20.4cm.)
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No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

Muhammad Qasim was a contemporary of Riza-i 'Abbasi, active during the reign of Shah 'Abbas I. Two paintings of his, one in the Royal Library, Windsor Castle, the other in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, are illustrated in B.W. Robinson, Persian Paintings: From the 14th through the 19th Century, Boston and Toronto, 1965, pls.62 and 63, pp.90-91; and two more are in Abolola Soudavar, Art of the Persian Courts, New York, 1992, pls.120-21, p.293. Both Robinson and Soudavar date the paintings to around the 1650s, but more recent research by Adel Adamova has convincingly repositioned his works to the early 17th century, presented in a paper given at a conference in Edinburgh, 1998. This paints Muhammad Qasim in a completely different light- innovative rather than derivative, and as a contemporary rather than a pupil of Riza and thus much more influential to the course that Persian painting took in the 17th century.

A comparable work by Muhammad Qasim was in these Rooms, 1 May 2001, lot 92. Also pen and ink on buff paper, it depicted a man in similar robes standing in a landscape.

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