Fragmentary Persian Poem


This small calligraphic fragment includes one line of poetry describing a lover's secret passion: “Yesterday I passed by you quickly for fear of the others.” The text is executed in black Nasta'liq script on a brown piece of paper, and it is framed by cloud bands and placed on a gold background filled with subtle decorative motifs. Several illuminated panels frame the top and bottom horizontals, while two black and gold borders decorate the right and left verticals of the text panel. The composition is pasted to a larger sheet of salmon-colored paper backed by cardboard, which is damaged by worm holes. Although the line of text may have been executed in Persia as early as the 15th or 16th century, the illuminated frames appear to have been added at a later date either for conservation purposes or to embellish a fragment intended for inclusion in an album of calligraphies.

Last updated: December 24, 2013