Approximately one century after the Persian poet Nizami wrote his Khamsa (Quintet), the Indian poet Amir Khusrau Dihlavi composed a response using Nizami’s structure but varying his stories slightly. This painting comes from the Mughal emperor Akbar’s (r. 1550–1605) copy of Amir Khusrau’s verses. It depicts a story told by a princess to the king Bahram Gur, about a youth and the fairy queen he imagines meeting nightly in a lush garden.
Signature: 'amal-i Manohara
Inscription: Signature in Persian in nasta‘liq script at bottom right-hand side of frame:
Work of Manohar
Alexander Smith Cochran, Yonkers, NY (until 1913; gifted to MMA)
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