A School Scene

BACK TO Akhlaq-i Nasiri

Aga Khan Museum Object: AKM288.8 Fol. 149v
A School Scene
Fol. 149v from a manuscript of Akhlaq-i Nasiri
Pakistan, Lahore, ca. 1590–1595
Watercolours, gold, and ink on paper
Education is one of the primary themes of Nasir al-Din Tusi’s Ethics. The subject is brought to life in this illustration, accompanying a passage from the Second Discourse, which focuses on the management of households, including child rearing. He writes that children must have intelligent tutors who teach them correct conduct, be raised with discipline, and get plenty of exercise to help them avoid idle pursuits. To illustrate these abstract principles, the artist has depicted a bustling school scene, with a master instructor giving lessons to a group of boys who read from manuscripts in a madrasa’s courtyard.