The MFAH collections of art from China, India, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia reflect Houston’s diverse communities. Ancient and contemporary works are displayed together to create innovative juxtapositions.
11 11/16 x 7 1/8 inches
Gift of His Highness the Aga Khan, Shia Ismaili Community of Houston; the Levant Foundation; Mr. and Mrs. Akbar Ladjevardian; the Francis L. Lederer Foundation; Marathon Oil Company; Mr. and Mrs. Omar Rehmatulla; Strategic Real Estate Advisors, London; Monsour Taghdisi; His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim Al Thani; and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, with additional funds provided by the 2007 Arts of the Islamic World GalaArts of Asia
The Siyer-i Nebi (Life of the Prophet), the manuscript to which this folio originally belonged, is a religious epic narrating the genealogy, life, and death of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. First composed in the late 14th century, by a writer named Darir, the text was later produced in a lavishly illustrated copy under the auspices of the Ottoman Sultan Murad III in the late 16th century.
The project was supervised by renowned Turkish calligrapher Lutfi Abdullah and was a major undertaking that resulted in a six-volume production accompanied by more than 800 illustrations. Volumes 1, 2, and 6 are still in the Topkapi Museum Library in Istanbul. Volumes 3 and 4 are, respectively, in the New York Public Library and the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, Ireland. The location of volume 5 remains unknown.