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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.)


Recorded Ownership History
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

Verification Level

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