Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Découpage with Persian calligraphy

  • loan
  • Description

    This type of découpé and appliqué paper design originated in Persia and Turkey. The calligraphic text is an Arabic quatrain in nastaliq script. It is addressed to Qanbar, the slave of the Imam Ali (son-in-law of the Prophet) who was put to death by the tyrant al-Hajjaj because of his loyalty to his master. In the background is a spiralling double scroll motif with floral offshoots.

  • Details

    Associated place
    AsiaIndiasouth IndiaKarnataka Bijapur (probable place of creation)
    1630 - 1640
    ‘Ali (active c. 1630 - 1640) (artist)
    Material and technique
    gouache on black paper, with white découpage
    frame 46.1 x 34.7 x 2.2 cm (height x width x depth)
    mount 42.5 x 32 cm (height x width)
    calligraphy 20 x 10 cm (height x width)
    Material index
    Technique index
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    No. of items
    Credit line
    Lent by Howard Hodgkin.
    Accession no.
  • Further reading

    Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2nd February-22nd April 2012, Visions of Mughal India: The Collection of Howard Hodgkin, Andrew Topsfield, ed. (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2012), no. 42 on p. 106, illus. p. 107



  • Imam

    (from the Arabic) Leader of prayers in congregational mosques. In Shi'a Islam, imams are infalliable spiritual guides and divinely appointed successors of the prophet Muhammad.

Past Exhibition

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    • Returned to lender

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