Folio from a Khamsa (Quintet) by Nizami (d.1209); recto: illustration: Bahram Gur visits the princess in the white pavilion; verso: text

Folio from the Haft paykar in the Khamsa (Quintet) by Nizami; text: Persian in black nasta’liq script; recto: illustration: Bahram Gur visits the princess in the white pavilion; verso: text, 4 columns, 19 lines; from the manuscript F1908.199.
Binding: The folio is bound with the rest of the manuscript in brown leather over paper pasteboards with doublures of cream-colored paper.

Maker(s)
Calligrapher: Murshid al-Shirazi
Historical period(s)
Safavid period, 1548 (955 A.H.)
Medium
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 31.1 x 19.7 cm (12 1/4 x 7 3/4 in)
Geography
Iran, Shiraz
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
F1908.277
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Manuscript folio

Keywords
Bahram Gur, Iran, pavilion, poems, princess, Safavid period (1501 - 1722)
Provenance

To 1908
Tabbagh Frères, Paris, to 1908 [1]

From 1908 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Tabbagh Frères, Paris, through the Bauer-Folsom Company, New York, in 1908 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] See List of Persian Books and Paintings, S.I. 1592, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. In 1932, F1908.259-.284 were separated from F1908.199 and given their current numbers.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Tabbagh Frères (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Description

Folio from the Haft paykar in the Khamsa (Quintet) by Nizami; text: Persian in black nasta'liq script; recto: illustration: Bahram Gur visits the princess in the white pavilion; verso: text, 4 columns, 19 lines; from the manuscript F1908.199.
Binding: The folio is bound with the rest of the manuscript in brown leather over paper pasteboards with doublures of cream-colored paper.

Label

In contrast to his second and third masnavis, Nizami's fourth poem, the Haft Paikar, or seven portraits, is a much more playful romance, although it too has a symbolic aspect. The work deals with the Iranian King Bahram Gur and his seven royal wives, each from a different part of the world and each housed in a different colored palace. Fair and just in his marital obligations, the King spent one night a week with each wife who was expected to entertain him with stories.
Bahram Gur devoted Fridays to the companion who lived in a white pavilion. As seen in this painting, not only was the palace completely white from facade to carpets, but all the inhabitants, including the princess, her attendants, and even the gardner, were dressed in the same color. Bahram Gur has also donned a white outfit for the occasion. As the King relaxed with music and wine, his wife related a story of two frustrated lovers who endured many calamities before realizing that it is better to be patient than to seek immediate satisfaction of amorous desires.

Published References
  • Freer Gallery of Art. Gallery Book III: Exhibition of September 5, 1933. Washington, September 5, 1933. .
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Exhibition of 2500 Years of Persian Art. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 33, pp. 1, 7, 10-11.
  • Ruth Warner. Persian Delight. vol. 9, no. 1 New York, January 1958. p. 23.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum