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Image of Nushabeh receives the portrait of Eskandar

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Bookmark: https://collection.sdmart.org/objects-1/info/5291

Nushabeh receives the portrait of Eskandar


Creation date: ca. 1475
Creation place: Iran

Other Information

Type: Manuscript Painting
Medium and Support: Opaque watercolor on paper
Credit Line: Gift of Edwin Binney 3rd
Accession Number: 1971.58
Dimensions: 5 1/4 in. x 3 7/8 in. (13.34 cm x 9.84 cm)

Provenance

H.K. Monif, New York, New York ( - December 15, 1959)

Edwin Binney 3rd, San Diego, California (December 15, 1959 - December 21, 1971)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (December 21, 1971 - )

Label Copy

June 2007
Lyric Visions
Nushabeh, queen of a territory in Armenia, is identified in other medieval accounts of Alexander as Queen Candace or as a queen of Andalusia, now in southern Spain. She was a shrewd ruler who lived luxuriously in an all-female court. She kept a collection of portraits of rulers so that she could glean their behavior and personality by studying their physiognomy. When Alexander arrived at her court, he disguised himself as an envoy; but Nushabeh, suspecting the deceit, had the portrait of Alexander brought out to prove his true identity.
This example of 15th-century Persian painting revels in covering all architectural surfaces with arabesque and geometric patterning in a two-dimensional setting. Figures are primarily presented in the favored three-quarter profile with robes that conceal the form of the body beneath and facial features related to central Asian or Chinese types introduced by the Mongols in the 14th century. Note the presence of the imported Chinese blue-and-white ceramic vase, a similar example of which is on view.

Sonya Quintanilla (2014) Quebec
Nushabeh receives the portrait of Iskandar
From a Khamsa («Quintet») of Nizami
Opaque watercolor on paper, ca. 1475
Iran, 5 1/4 in. x 3 7/8 in. (13.34 cm x 9.84 cm)
Gift of Edwin Binney 3rd, 1971.58
Nushabeh, queen of a territory in Armenia, is identified in other medieval accounts of Alexander as Queen Candace or as a queen of Andalusia, now in southern Spain. She was a shrewd ruler who lived luxuriously in an all-female court. She kept a collection of portraits of rulers so that she could glean their behavior and personality by studying their physiognomy. When Alexander arrived at her court, he disguised himself as an envoy; but Nushabeh, suspecting the deceit, had the portrait of Alexander brought out to prove his true identity. This example of 15th-century Persian painting revels in covering all architectural surfaces with arabesque and geometric patterning in a two-dimensional setting. Figures are primarily presented in the favored three-quarter profile with robes that conceal the form of the body beneath and facial features related to central Asian or Chinese types introduced by the Mongols in the 14th century. Note the presence of the imported Chinese blue-and-white ceramic vase, a similar example of which is on view.
Last Updated: 9/5/2017

Exhibition

This object was included in the following exhibitions:

An Exhibition of Islamic Art Ohio State University School of Art , 7/1/1956 - 8/31/1956

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 from the Edwin Binney Collection Phoenix Art Museum , 3/18/1977 - 5/1/1977

Lyric Visions from Nizami's "Quintet" , 6/14/2007 - 11/4/2007

Into India: South Asian Paintings from The San Diego Museum of Art San Diego Museum of Art , 2/28/2012 - 5/27/2012

Bibliography

This object has the following bibliographic references:

Dr. Edwin Binney, 3rd. Persian and Indian Miniatures, Portland Art Museum. Portland, Oregon, 1962
Page Number: 14 no. 21

Richard Ettinghausen. Islamic Art from the Collection of Edwin Binney 3rd Smithsonian Institution. Washington, District of Columbia, 1966
Page Number: no. 58, Figure Number: 58

Richard Ettinghausen. An Exhibition of Islamic Art, Ohio State University. Columbus, Ohio, 1956
Page Number: 7

Dr. Sonya Quintanilla and Patrick Coleman. Visiones de la India Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Madrid, 2012
Page Number: 88, 268, Figure Number: cat. 33, p. 89

Dr. Sonya Quintanilla and Patrick Coleman. Visiones de la India (Mexico) Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia. Mexico , 2013
Page Number: 62, Figure Number: cat. 33, p. 63

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