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Two Wandering Dervishes

MSS 619 | Iran, most probably Tabriz

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Artwork Details

Title: Two Wandering Dervishes

Location: Iran, most probably Tabriz

Materials: brush drawing in ink, watercolour and gold on paper

Dimensions: 48.6 x 37.5cm

Accession Number: MSS 619

Other Notes:

This large-format study is a version of a Chinese genre painting of the Yuan period showing Buddhist holy men (lohans). Its most striking feature is probably the gold jewellery worn by the two figures, including earrings, a torque, belts, anklets and even an archer’s thumb-ring. The jewellery contrasts strikingly with their homely apparel and footwear, which, like their shaven heads and branded ritual markings, suggest spiritual poverty and identify them as wandering dervishes (qalandars). 

Bibliography:

J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.209, pp.178–9.

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