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"Bahram Gur and the Indian Princess in the Dark Palace on Saturday", Folio 23v from a Haft Paikar (Seven Portraits) of the Khamsa (Quintet) of Nizami

Author:
Nizami (Ilyas Abu Muhammad Nizam al-Din of Ganja) (probably 1141–1217)
Calligrapher:
Maulana Azhar (d. 1475/76)
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
ca. 1430
Geography:
present-day Afghanistan, Herat
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Painting: H. 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm) W. 4 5/8 in. (11.7 cm) Page: H. 11 in. (27.9 cm) W. 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm) Mat: H. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm) W. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Gift of Alexander Smith Cochran, 1913
Accession Number:
13.228.13.4
Not on view
'Bahram Gur and the Indian Princess in the Black Pavilion'.
The artist has achieved superb color harmony while still conveying the darkness of the pavilion required by the text. The perfection of such patterns as the tile work, and such details as the trays holding bottles, cups and fruit for the royal pair are characteristic of the supremely high quality of these Herat miniatures.
Inscription: Text inscribed calligraphically in Persian, in nasta'liq script by Maulana Azhar (d. A.H. 880/ A.D.1475-6).

(On present folio, in Persian, at top of building): "Allah and nothing but he, and we never worship anyone but he"; (above right window): "Continuous glory, the power"; (above left window): "The glory the Sultan the power"; (above door): "Ye who open the doors."
Emperor Akbar, India (from 1580); his grandson Shah Jahan, India (in 1658); Alexander Smith Cochran, Yonkers, NY (until 1913; gifted to MMA)
Jackson, A. V. Williams, and A. Yohannan. "Presented to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, by Alexander Smith Cochran." In A Catalogue of the Collection of Persian Manuscripts, Including also Some Turkish and Arabic. 1914. no. 10, p. 71.

Museum of Metropolitan Art Bulletin vol. 33, no. 1 (1975). p. 24, ill. (color).

Lentz, Thomas W., and Glenn D. Lowry. "Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century." In Timur and the Princely Vision. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1989. no. 62, pp. 173, 175, 342, ill. p. 175 (color).

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 123A, pp. 4, 183-184, ill. p. 183.



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