Lot 79
  • 79

A Maiden and Bearded Man by a Stream, attributable to Muhammad Qasim, Persia, Safavid, first half 17th century

20,000 - 30,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • painting
Ink drawing on paper, partially coloured and illuminated, laid down onto an album page with borders filled with flowerheads, and later panels of nasta'liq calligraphy within cloud bands against gold grounds filled with flowers, margins ruled in colours and gold


Ex-Collection Claude Anet
Formerly in the collection of Hagop Kevorkian, sold in these rooms, 12 April 1976, lot 41

Catalogue Note

Muhammad Qasim was one of the leading artists of the first generation after Reza-i Abbasi alongside Muhammad Yusuf, Muhammad Ali and Muhammad Muhsin. He flourished in the first half of the seventeenthth century, and in recent years it has been suggested that he worked in both Mashhad and Isfahan (see Canby 2009, p.251).

This miniature can be compared to a number of others by the artist in terms of both exection and composition. A miniature entitled 'Chastisement of a Pupil' is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (published in New York 2011, pp.226-7, no.153) which shares with the present image the charateristic tree, often seen in drawings by Muhammad Qasim, in which the trunk is drawn with more or less horizontal rings following the contours of the trunk, with "stylized foliage like paper cut-outs..." (M.L. Swietochowski and S. Babaie, Persian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1989, pp.78-79, no.34). These features can also be witnessed on a drawing of a bird perched on the trunk of a tree by the same artist, sold in these rooms 29 April 1998, lot 64, as well as a portrait of 'Shah 'Abbas and a Pageboy' signed by Muhamad Qasim in the Musée du Louvre (see Canby, op.cit., pp.250-1, no.123).

Other traits of the artist can also be perceived in the present drawing, including the roundness of the lady's face, a style Muhammad Qasim often used when depicting the more youthful, and the comparatively more square jaw of the artist's typical mature figure. This distinctive style can again be seen in the 'Chastisement of a Pupil' where indeed the bearded elderly teacher is almost the same figure leaning against the tree as in the present work (New York 2011, op.cit.).

Further drawings and paintings by Muhammad Qasim are in the Art and History Trust Collection (see Soudavar 1992, p.293, nos.120-1); The British Museum (see Canby 1999, p.138, no.128), and sold in these rooms 1 April 2009, lot 28; 12 October 2000, lot 62, 22 April 1999, lot 49 and 3 April 1978, lot 40.