Habib Allah, Isfahan, ca 1600. From „The Language of the Birds“ (Mantik’et-tair) by Farid-ed-Din Attar

New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fletcher Fund, 63.21011

The miniature, which must be dated ca 1600 bears the signature of Habib Allah, a painter at the Safavid court in Isfahan, which flourished under Shah Abbas the Great (1587-1629). Stylistically the miniature is following prototypes from the former artistic capital of Herat. The illustration here is the Makam, the assembly of the birds before setting out on their journey. The thirteen different kinds, some in pairs, are all here, grouped around the hoopoe who enjoys the authority befitting a one-time messenger of Solomon.