The Divan of Sultan Ibrahim Mirza | The Ismaili Canada

In History

The Divan of Sultan Ibrahim Mirza

The Aga Khan Museum shares a piece of history

The Ismaili Canada
Published October 23, 2021
Double frontispiece from the Divan of Sultan Ibrahim Mirza. Opaque watercolour, ink, gold and silver on paper. Courtesy of Aga Khan Museum, AKM282.1-.2

Where: Iran

When: 1582-83 CE

Who: Sultan Ibrahim Mirza (poet) and Abdullah al-Muzahhib (artist and calligrapher) 

What: Double folio from a manuscript of the collected poems of Sultan Ibrahim Mirza. 

These pages from the Divan, or collection of poems, of Safavid prince Sultan Ibrahim Mirza describe the manuscript’s origins. The Aga Khan Museum’s copy of the Divan—one of two that survive today—is an elegant artifact borne of political and family crisis, love and a daughter’s desire to preserve her father’s work and legacy for the benefit of future generations. Sultan Ibrahim Mirza’s daughter, Gawhar-Shad Begum, commissioned the manuscript after he was assassinated by his cousin, the Safavid monarch Isma’il II, in 1577. The Divan manuscript consists of 87 folios with the prince’s Persian and Turkish poems. Sultan Ibrahim Mirza was a proponent of the arts and enjoyed writing love poems, but many of his verses were lost after his death. His daughter strove to gather what remained and sent copies of the Divan throughout Iran, Central Asia, India and Anatolia (present-day Turkey). 

This manuscript is featured in the Aga Khan Museum’s 2020/2021 Remastered exhibition.Visit for details. 

The Ismaili

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