"Khusrau Hunting", Folio from Khusrau and Shirin


Object Name:
Illustrated manuscript
dated A.H. 904/A.D. 1498–99
Turkey, probably Istanbul or Amasya
Main support: ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper; binding: leather
Entire sheet: 9 7/16 x 6 7/16 inches (24 x 16.4 cm.)
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1969
Accession Number:
  • Description

    Ottoman taste for Persian poetry led to the production of manuscripts such as this copy of the tale of Khusrau and Shirin by the poet Hatifi. The calligraphy, illumination, gilding, and painting of this manuscript were completed by a single artist calling himself Suzi ("the burning one"). His distinctive painting style exhibits elements borrowed from Aq Quyunlu painting of western Iran and European sources—such as the incorporation of architectural perspective seen here.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Signature: On colophon of manuscript, the illuminator signs "the work of Suzi, the helpless"

    Inscription: Date A.H. 904 in chronogram, written in white at end of poem, f78v.

    in Persian language, all the drawing, gild and calligraphy are from Suz ī which it may be Suz ī Isfahani who lived in the 10th century at 904 (1498 A.D). At the Last page of this manuscript five lines of poem in Nasta‘līq scrip which has the date in Abjad system and mention that all the works on this book was done by Suz ī, on the last page written:.
    شد تمام این کتاب فرخنده دلگشایی کند بغمخواره
    فرح قلب حاصلست اورا هرکه این آورد بنظاره
    خط و تذهیب و تبر و تصویرش شد ز دست من دل آواره
    بیشتر زین چون توانم کرد که مرا یک دلیست صد پاره
    شد تمامی این را تاریخ عمل سوزیست بیچاره
    This beatific book finished, it make cheery to sympathetic,
    Anyone who show it will got happy in heart. Such I have
    Calligraphy and gild and gold and drawing is done by this straggle.
    How I can did more than this, when I have a one heart with one hundred fragments
    All of this being the date, work of Suz ī the incurable.
    The second part of the last line عمل سوزیست بیچاره ‘Amala Szsīt-i Bīchāra is the date in Abjad system which gave us the date 904 A.H (1498 A.D).


  • Provenance

    Osman Ata'ullah, Turkey; Sir Gregory O. Page-Turner, England(until 1827; his sale, March 1827, lot 190,to Phillips); Sir Thomas Phillipps, 1st Baronet, England (1827–d. 1872); Bibliotheca Phillippica, England(1872–1968; its sale, Sotheby's, London,November 25–26, 1968, MS 3127, to MMA)

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History