start page
Muhammad-Dervish. The shax and a dervish. Saadi. Bustan. The Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. Pers. 297 f. 26b. Early 17th century. Samarkand
Muhammad-Dervish THE SHAH AND A DERVISH, Saadi. Bustan


Word dervish means poor, but in Central Asia it has wider meaning: a poor man purposely rejecting wealth, power and other joys of life to become morally pure and reach to God.
Saadi is a prominent Persian poet and pilgrim (XIII). He wrote two large books Bustan (Orchard) and Gulistan (Garden in blossom).
The idea of dervishs preaching addressing to a tsar or a rich man takes a large part in Bustan. Illustrators of this literary work created many drawings but in one composition: a shah and a dervish meet in the country. The dervish appeals to the shah for justice, reasonable rule and deep thinking about his actions.
This miniature has four-level composition: a sky and three lines of the hills. The rhythm of the picture is calm. The shah and his suite listen to the dervish. The faces of the main characters are very expressive.