"Marriage of Khusrau and Shirin", Folio 104 from a Khamsa (Quintet) of Nizami of Ganja

Various artists/makers

Not on view

The second poem of Nizami’s Khamsa (Quintet) is a romantic epic tale concerning the last great Sasanian ruler, Khusrau II, and his beloved Armenian princess, Shirin. While their union is delayed by many trials, tribulations, and intervening marriages, eventually the two are happily wed. This painting depicts their marriage, set within a crystalline architectural composition. Great care is lavished upon the details of the building, suggesting that the artist may have intended to depict a specific structure. Over the heads of the couple appears an invocation to God—"Oh! Opener of Doors!" The inscription on the portico above, dated Rajab 913 (April–May 1525), is contemporaneous with the colophon of the manuscript.

"Marriage of Khusrau and Shirin", Folio 104 from a Khamsa (Quintet) of Nizami of Ganja, Nizami (present-day Azerbaijan, Ganja 1141–1209 Ganja), Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

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