“In several beautiful and elegant paintings, Reza Abbasi, who lived from 1565 to 1635, has portrayed neyanban players with full details of the amazing instrument,” Sharifian wrote on his Instagram post on March 10 to mark International Bagpipe Day.
“These show the importance of the instrument during the Safavid period,” he added.
He noted that nobody knows exactly when Abbasi did the first painting, however, there is clear evidence that he created the second painting 25 years after the first one.
The second painting bears Abbasi’s autograph made in 1624 A.D. Sharifian said that the painting is on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
If Abbasi created the second painting 25 years before his death, neyanban’s presence in the history of Iranian music would date back to over 400 years ago.
Sharifian is the leader of the Lian ensemble from the southern Iranian city of Bushehr. He has performed concerts during international events, including the William Kennedy Piping Festival running in the Irish town of Armagh and London’s WOMAD Festival.