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A sleeping man is decapitated in his tent

Creation date: ca. 1560
Creation place: Iran

Other Information

Type: Manuscript Painting
Medium and Support: Opaque watercolor on paper
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Edwin Binney 3rd
Accession Number: 1972.227
State/Province: Qazvin Province
Dimensions: 7 3/4 in. x 6 1/4 in. (19.69 cm x 15.88 cm)


H.K. Monif, New York, New York ( - March 9, 1959)

Edwin Binney 3rd, San Diego, California (March 9, 1959 - December 29, 1972)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (December 29, 1972 - )

Label Copy

04/17/17 Diana Chou

This painting appears to come from a popular religious narrative about the early days of Islam and the time of the Prophet Muhammad, and it relates the death of a figure named Sufiyan, a foe of Islam. The surrounding text describes how Sufiyan and his troops were making life difficult for the Prophet until one of the Prophet’s supporters decided to get rid of him. This man went to Sufiyan’s quarters, and when questioned, pretended to be a sworn enemy of the Prophet. Sufiyan was jubilant at this piece of news and went back into his tent, whereupon the Muslim disciple of Muhammad sneaked into his tent after dark and managed to cut off Sufiyan’s head.
Last Updated: 9/5/2017


This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Persian and Indian Miniatures from the Collection of Edwin Binney, 3rd The Portland Art Association , 9/28/1962 - 11/29/1962

Islamic Art from the Collection of Edwin Binney 3rd Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibitions Service , 10/1/1966 - 10/19/1969

Islamic Art Across the World Indiana University Art Museum , 6/18/1970 - 10/1/1970

Temple Palace and Mosque Rotations San Diego Museum of Art , 8/16/2010 - 00/00/00

Temple, Palace, Mosque: Southern Asian and Persian Art San Diego Museum of Art , 6/24/2012 - 1/6/2013

Arts of Iran The San Diego Museum of Art , 1/20/2017 - 00/00/00


This object has the following bibliographic references:

Dr. Edwin Binney, 3rd. Persian and Indian Miniatures, Portland Art Museum. Portland, Oregon, 1962
Page Number: 17, no. 26e

Richard Ettinghausen. Islamic Art from the Collection of Edwin Binney 3rd Smithsonian Institution. Washington, District of Columbia, 1966
Page Number: no. 43, Figure Number: 43

Theodore Robert Bowie. Islamic Art from Across the World Indiana University Art Museum. Bloomington, Indiana, 1970
Page Number: 34, no. 73

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