Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Attributed to Mir Sayyid ‘Ali, Persian (16th century)
Nighttime in a City, probably a folio from an illustrated manuscript
Work Type
manuscript folio
c. 1540
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran, Tabriz
Safavid period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Opaque watercolor, gold and silver on paper
image: 28.6 x 20 cm (11 1/4 x 7 7/8 in.)
Louis Cartier Collection, Paris (1910-1958). John Goelet, New York (by 1958), gift; to the Fogg Art Museum.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of John Goelet, formerly in the collection of Louis J. Cartier
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Publication History

Armenag Sakisian, La Miniature Persane du XIIe au XVIIe Siecle, Les Editions G. van Oest (Paris, France, 1929), pl. CVI, fig. 190

Maurice Sven Dimand, A Guide to an Exhibition of Islamic Miniature Painting and Book Illumination, exh. cat. (Portland, ME, 1933), pls. 23, 24

Ivan Stchoukine, Les peintures des manuscrits safavis 1502-1587, P. Guenther (Paris, 1959), p. 79, no. 33B

Ernst Grube, The World of Islam (New York, NY, 1966), p. 126, fig. 79

David Lewis James, Islamic Art: An Introduction, Hamlyn Publishing Group (London, 1974), p. 50

Anthony Welch, Artists for the Shah: Late Sixteenth-Century Painting at the Imperial Court of Iran, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT, 1976), p. 142

Arthur Upham Pope and Phyllis Ackerman, A Survey of Persian Art From Prehistoric Times to the Present, Soroush Press (Tehran, Iran, 1977), pls. 908B, 909B

Stuart Cary Welch, Wonders of the Age: Masterpieces of Early Safavid Painting, 1501-1576, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1979), pp. 180-181, no. 68

Marianna Shreve Simpson, Arab and Persian Painting in the Fogg Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1980), pp. 13, 58-61, no. 18, ill.

Exhibitions: Muslim Architects, The Boston Globe (December 31, 1981), p. A19, p. A19, ill.

Martin Bernard Dickson and Stuart Cary Welch, The Houghton Shahnameh, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1981), Page 184/Figure 239

Michele de Angelis and Thomas W. Lentz, Architecture in Islamic Painting: Permanent and Impermanent Worlds, brochure, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, Mass, 1982)

A. M. Kevorkian and J.P. Sicre, Les Jardins du desir: Sept siecles de peinture persane, Phebus (Paris, France, 1983), pp168

Layla S. Diba, "Clothing", Encyclopaedia Iranica, Volume V, ed. Ehsan Yarshater, Mazda Publishers (1992), p. 786, plate XCIX

Najmieh Batmanglij, New Food of Life: A Book of Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies, Mage Publishers (Washington, DC, 1994), pp. 2, 76, 281, ill.

James Cuno, Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Ivan Gaskell, and William W. Robinson, Harvard's Art Museums: 100 Years of Collecting, ed. James Cuno, Harvard University Art Museums and Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (Cambridge, MA, 1996), page 136-137

Masterpieces of world art : Fogg Art Museum, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1997

Gavin R. G. Hambly, Women in the Medieval Islamic World, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY, 1998), pg. 368, b/w

40 Years On... Donations by John Goelet: Sculpture, Paintings and Drawings, Miniatures and Calligraphy, Tankas and Mandala, M. T. Train and Scala Books (New York, NY, 2000), page 170, 239

Eleanor Sims, Boris I. Marshak, and Ernst Grube, Peerless Images: Persian Painting and its Sources, Yale University Press (U.S.) (New Haven; London, 2002), pp. 196-197, fig. 109

Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity (London, Thames & Hudson, 2021)., p. 89, ill.; pp. 296-297, no. 11

Exhibition History

Arab and Persian Painting, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 02/10/1981 - 03/09/1981

The Heavenly Court: Persian Poetry and Painting, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 02/09/1985 - 03/31/1985

Early Safavid Painting 1501 - 1576, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/21/1987 - 04/12/1987

Paintings for Princes: The Art of the Book in Islam, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/27/1990 - 03/25/1990

Five Masters of Persian and Indian Painting, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/11/1992 - 03/09/1992

An Imperial Vision. The Art of Mughal India, 1526-1658, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 10/17/1992 - 12/06/1992

Arts of Empire: Mughal India, 1526-1705, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 10/17/1992 - 12/13/1992

In Detail: Looking at Persian, Turkish and Indian Pictures, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/11/1995 - 01/21/1996

Shadows of God On Earth: Arts of the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Dynasties, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 06/21/1997 - 08/31/1997

Courts and Countryside: Islamic Paintings from the 14th through the 17th Century, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 05/21/1999 - 08/22/1999

The Enlightened Eye: Gifts from John Goelet, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/12/2000 - 05/07/2000

32Q: 2550 Islamic, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/14/2015 - 11/03/2015

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at