Folio from a Khusraw u Shirin by Nizami (d.1209); recto: illustration: The sculptor Farhad brought before Shirin; verso: text

Detached folio from the Khusraw u Shirin by Nizami; text: Persian in black nasta’liq script; heading in gold; recto: illustration: The sculptor Farhad brought before Shirin; verso: text, 4 columns, 23 lines; one of a group of 7 detached folios (F1931-37) from the manuscript (F1931.29) and the book binding (F 1931.30); accessioned separately.
Binding: The painting and the text are set in gold, green, and blue rulings on gold-sprinkled paper.

Maker(s)
Calligrapher: Ali ibn Hasan al-Sultani
Historical period(s)
Jalayirid period, ca. 1400
Medium
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 27.3 x 16.5 cm (10 3/4 x 6 1/2 in)
Geography
Iran
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1931.34
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Manuscript folio

Keywords
Farhad, Iran, Jalayirid dynasty (1340 - 1432), nasta'liq script, princess, Shirin
Provenance

To 1931
Hagop Kevorkian (1872-1962), New York to 1931 [1]

From 1931
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Hagop Kevorkian, New York in 1931 [2]

Notes:

[1] Object file, undated folder sheet note. See also Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file, Collections Management Office.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Hagop Kevorkian 1872-1962

Description

Detached folio from the Khusraw u Shirin by Nizami; text: Persian in black nasta'liq script; heading in gold; recto: illustration: The sculptor Farhad brought before Shirin; verso: text, 4 columns, 23 lines; one of a group of 7 detached folios (F1931-37) from the manuscript (F1931.29) and the book binding (F 1931.30); accessioned separately.
Binding: The painting and the text are set in gold, green, and blue rulings on gold-sprinkled paper.

Label

In 1370, the Turco-Mongol warlord Timur (also known as Tamerlane in the West) conquered much of present-day Iraq, Iran, and Central Asia and established the Timurid dynasty. His descendants may have lacked Timur's military prowess, but they were among the most active patrons of architecture and the arts of the book, which reached unprecedented levels of sophistication during the fifteenth century.

Nizami's Khamsa (Quintet), one of Iran's literary masterpieces, was particularly favored during the Timurid period. This folio is from the second poem, known as Khusraw and Shirin and is devoted to the romance between the last Sasanian king, Khusraw II (reigned 590-628), known as Parviz (the Victorious), and Shirin, the beautiful and independent-minded Armenian princess. It depicts the first encounter between Shirin and the third central character of Nizami's text, the sculptor Farhad, who also falls desperately in love with the Armenian princess. Intimate in scale, the painting's meticulously rendered, stagelike interior and jewel-like palette are characteristic of early Timurid aesthetic refinement.

Published References
  • Sheila Blair. Text and Image in Medieval Persian Art. Edinburgh Studies in Islamic Art Edinburgh. .
  • Elias John Wilkinson Gibb. History of Ottoman Poetry. 6 vols., London. vol. 1: p. 321 f.
  • Freer Gallery of Art. Gallery Book II: Exhibition of August 19, 1933. Washington, August 19, 1933. .
  • Wiebke Walther. Die Frau im Islam [Women in Islam]. Leipzig and Montclair, New Jersey, 1980-1981. pl. 109.
  • Ivan Stchoukine. Les Peintures des Manuscrits Timurides. Bibliothèque archéologique et historique Paris. .
  • Priscilla P. Soucek. Illustrated Manuscript of Nizami's "Khamseh" 1386-1482. 2 vols. Ann Arbor. pl. 64.
  • Sekai bijutsu zenshu [A Complete Collection of World Art]. 40 vols., Tokyo, 1960-1966. vol. 22: pl. 39.
  • Valerie Gonzalez. Beauty and Islam: Aesthetics in Islamic Art and Architecture. London and New York. fig. 25.
  • B. W. Robinson. Fifteenth-Century Persian Painting: Problems and Issues. Hagop Kevorkian Series on Near Eastern Art and Civilization New York. p. 4.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Islamic Women as Rulers and Patrons. vol. 5, no. 2 New York, Spring 1993. pp. 7, 11, fig. 2.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Exhibition of 2500 Years of Persian Art. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 20, p. 8.
  • Eustache de Lorey. Behzad. Paris, July-August 1938. p. 31, fig. 3.
  • Amy Briggs. Timurid Carpets: I. Geometric Carpets. vol. 7, no. 1 Ann Arbor. p. 43, no. 2.
  • Deborah E. Klimberg Salter. A Sufi Theme in Persian Painting: The Diwan of Sultan Ahmad Gala in the Freer Gallery of Art. vol. 11 Wiesbaden, 1976-1977. pp. 47, 73.
  • Basil Gray. Persian Painting. Treasures of Asia Geneva. p. 54.
  • A. T. Adamova. Mediaeval Persian Painting: The Evolution of an Artistic Vision. Biennial Ehsan Yarshater Lecture Series, no. 3 New York. p. 54.
  • Eleanor Sims, Boris I. Marshak, Ernst Grube. Peerless Images: Persian Painting and its Sources. New Haven and London. p. 123.
  • Jonathan M. Bloom, Sheila Blair. And Diverse are their Hues. p. 293, fig. 196.
  • Mehmet Aga-Oglu. The Khusrau wa Shirin Manuscript in the Freer Gallery. vol. IV Ann Arbor. pp. 479-481, fig. 3.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Related Objects