Persian Miniature Painting: A Comparison of Figural Representation
Working from pictures in books puts me at a great disadvantage but one must make do as best one can. Marianna Shreve Simpson discussed the question of a possible Abdollah-e Mozahheb attribution for A City Dweller Desecrates a Garden in Sultan Ibrahim Mirza's Haft Awrang, A Princely Manuscript from Sixteenth-Century Iran. and she rejects the idea. She was quite compelling when she said "the figures in both Jami scenes have an elegance and expressiveness that the stolid citizens in the Divan illustration certainly do not possess and the Sifat al-ashqin youths barely approach"3. I must assume that the differences are more obvious when you see them in person because I see little difference and humbly suggest that to my untrained eye the Prince signed by Abdollah-e Mozahheb in in the Sifat al-ashqin is the equal of the unsigned Prince in the Haft Awrang of Jami.
The garments are very similar as are the turbans. That is not really significant. What is significant is the little touches. Please note the drape of the coat over the side of the pavilion. In the faces I fail to discern any major differences. Even to the inclusion and execution of the pomegranates these two strike me as the product of the same hand. The rugs on the floor are both similar and what I think of as Shiraz carpets.
Obviously the figures are similar but as I review them I am struck by the treatment of the turbans and the similarity in the pictures. In this case I will grant that I prefer the figure in the Haft Awrang but I fail to see any great difference.