Riza-i Abbasi

Convivial Party

Convivial Party
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Riza-i Abbasi
Miniatures, Gouache and gold, 26x16.7 cm
Origin: Iran, 1612, Safavid Dynasty

This is one of the best works by the renowned artist Riza-i Abbasi. The miniature is the right part of a diptych  showing a noble youth feasting in the company of his suite.

Seated beneath a tree, at the head of the "table" is the youth in his yellow and pink robes and a vast white turban. Spread before him on the bank of the stream are all kinds of delicacies, jugs of wine and bowls of fruit. Riza-i Abbasi skilfully grouped his figures to create a natural arrangement, as if he had indeed simply sketched them from life. To the left of the main figure are two women and behind them, wrapped in a blanket, an old nanny, with a small boy pressing towards her. He looks to the left as if peeking at the scene on the left side of the triptych , where a servant is bringing a very tipsy youth back to his senses. To the right, on the other bank of the stream, is a thoughtful dervish in dark grey robes, reminding us of the vanity of earthly pleasures.

This miniature differs from other works by Riza-i Abbasi in its unusual colourfulness, built up of a combination of yellow-brown and bluish-violet tones, set off by the borders elegantly painted in liquid gold.

It is possible that the diptych came from a rich manuscript or album, possibly commissioned by the youth who is the central figure in this picture.

School: Isfahan

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