"Bahram Gur in the Sandal Palace on Thursday", Folio 230 from a Khamsa (Quintet) of Nizami
Nizami (Ilyas Abu Muhammad Nizam al-Din of Ganja) (probably 1141–1217)
Sultan Muhammad Nur (ca. 1472–ca. 1536)
Painting by Shaikh Zada
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
A.H. 931/A.D. 1524–25
present-day Afghanistan, Herat
Ink, opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper
Painting: H. 7 13/16 in. (19.8 cm)
W. 4 5/8 in. (11.7 cm)
Page: H. 12 5/8 in. (32.1 cm)
W. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm)
Mat: H. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm)
W. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
Gift of Alexander Smith Cochran, 1913
Not on view
The Haft Paikar (Seven Portraits) is one of the five poems of the Khamsa of Nizami. The poetry is mystical, illustrating the supremacy of divine love over earthly pleasures. In the story, Bahram Gur marries seven princesses from the seven regions of the world and visits each one in her own pavilion on successive nights. The various elements of this scene are all shown in the perspective that makes them the most easily intelligible. The foreground appears tipped up to emphasize the shape of the fountain, which was painted in silver that has since oxidized, and the polygonal cap dome is shown from a different angle than that of the flat roof on which it sits. Although this manuscript was completed in the early Safavid period, it displays a continuity with the painting styles of Timurid Herat. The artist, Shaikh Zada, was a pupil of the master painter Bihzad.
F. R. Martin, Sweden; Alexander Smith Cochran, Yonkers, NY (until 1913; gifted to MMA)
"Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York." In The Arts of Islam. Berlin, 1981. no. 72, pp. 182-183, ill. p. 183 (color).
Brend, Barbara. "Illustrations to Amir Khusrau's Khamsa." In Perspectives on Persian Painting. New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003. p. 190.
Artist: Nizami (Ilyas Abu Muhammad Nizam al-Din of Ganja) (probably 1141–1217)Date: dated A.H. 931/A.D. 1524–25Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paperAccession: 126.96.36.199On view in:Gallery 455