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A Convivial Party

Riza-i Abbasi

1612

Paper, gouache, gold

This is the left panel of a diptych, formed of two adjacent sheets. The diptych represents a young man from a royal family who is feasting in the open air, surrounded by his retinue. Both in subject and composition the artist follows the tradition of the frontispieces which preceded the most sumptuous manuscripts of the 15th to 17th centuries. This leaf is also likely to have once adorned the opening of a manuscript or album, and the principal person depicted would then be the man who commissioned it. This work is rightly regarded as the artist's best work, distinguished by its exquisite drawing, superb depiction of details and remarkable colouring. The artist uses a typical 16th-century device: the representation runs over the border and into the margins.

 

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