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Details & Cataloguing

Arts of the Islamic World

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A Reclining Nude, Persia, Safavid, Isfahan, circa 1620-40
Gouache heightened with gold on paper, depicting a reclining partially nude figure holding a bottle in her right hand, a loose robe wrapped around her waist, laid down on an album page with panels of calligraphy above and below, a blue border flecked with gold, outer margins filled with leafy scrolling vegetation, reverse with musuem label and pencil notes
painting: 17 by 11cm.
leaf: 32.3 by 24.6cm.
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Provenance

Ex-collection Charles Kelekian

Exhibited

Exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art, MD, mid-20th century (label on reverse)

Catalogue Note

inscriptions

The lower Persian couplet is a ghazal of Hafiz.

Certain features of this sensitively-executed drawing, including the crossed feet, loose fitting revealing garb and languid pose, recall the European print of Cleopatra by Marcantonio Raimondi, after an original painting by Raphael (see S.C. Welch and K. Masteller, From Mind, Heart, and Hand, Cambridge, MA, 2004, p.58, fig.9.1). Another related drawing, attributed to Aqa Reza (Reza-i 'Abbasi) was in the collection of Stuart Cary Welch (sold in these rooms 7 April 1975, lot 40), who noted that "Venetian traders travelled to Iran throughout the sixteenth century, and we can assume that prints were included in the commodities for which they found a market in Tabriz and Qazvin, presumably in exchange for raw silk" (ibid, p.56).

A further comparative drawing was sold in these rooms, 7 April 1975, lot 57. 

Arts of the Islamic World

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London