Collection online

painting / calligraphy / album

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Reclining woman; single-page painting mounted on a detached album folio. Portrait of a beautiful woman reclining against cushions, watching her dog drink from a bowl beside. Lady dresses in loose and provocative clothing, revealing her bare stomach and printed pants. A vase of roses stands by her feet, while a bowl and plate lie in front. Faded tree and plant drawings decorate the background. Calligraphy on B side. Border filled with calligraphy. Inscribed above lady's stomach.

    Ink, opaque watercolour and gold on paper.


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1640 (circa)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 11.9 centimetres (painting)
    • Width: 15.8 centimetres (painting)
    • Height: 13.7 centimetres (calligraphy border)
    • Width: 23.3 centimetres (calligraphy border)
    • Height: 22.6 centimetres (sheet)
    • Width: 37.3 centimetres (sheet)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Position

        centre of composition
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Transliteration

        raqm-e kamineh Mir Afzal al-Husayni
      • Inscription Translation

        work of [lit. writing of] the humble Mir Afzal al-Husayni
  • Curator's comments

    By the 1630s, Persian artists no longer portrayed "pin up girls" in the guise of literary figures. Rather, paintings of suggestively posed, scantily clad courtesans increased, a phenomenon attributed to the loose moral climate at the court of Shah Safi (r. 1629-42).

    Of the artists working at the courts of Shah Safi (1629-42) and Shah Abbas II (1642-66) Mir Afzal Tuni (or Husayni) adhered most closely to the themes and style of his predecessor Riza-yi Abbasi. A painting of an amorous couple by this artist in Princes, Poets & Paladins (cat. no. 50) reveals his interest in mildly erotic subjects.


  • Bibliography

    • Canby 1999 fig.127 bibliographic details
    • Canby 1993 p. 105, fig. 68 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history


    2013 - 2014 27 Sep - 12 Jan, Zurich, Museum Rietberg, 'The Fascination of Persia'

    2006, London, Tate Britain, East-West: Objects between cultures

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Middle East

  • Registration number


Painting. General subject - portrait. A beautiful woman reclining with dog and crockery and calligraphy on border. On paper.

Painting. General subject - portrait. A beautiful woman reclining with dog and crockery and calligraphy on border. On paper.

Image description



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Object reference number: RFM570

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