Folio from a Yusuf and Zulaykha by Jami (d. 1492); recto: Egyptian women overwhelmed by Yusuf’s beauty; verso: text, Egyptian women cut their hands at the sight of Yusuf’s beauty

Detached folio from a dispersed copy of a Yusuf and Zulaykha by Jami; text: Persian in black nasta’liq script; recto: illustration: Egyptian women overwhelmed by Yusuf’s beauty; verso: text: Egyptian women cut their hands at the sight of Yusuf’s beauty, two columns, 14 lines.
Border: The recto is set in red, blue, green, and black rulings on cream-colored paper; the verso is set in black and gold rulings on cream-colored paper.

Maker(s)
Author: Jami (died 1492)
Historical period(s)
Safavid period, circa 1525
School
Herat school
Medium
Opaque watercolor and ink on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 26.6 x 15.9 cm (10 1/2 x 6 1/4 in)
Geography
Afghanistan, Herat
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1967.6
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Detached manuscript folio

Keywords
Afghanistan, eating, Safavid period (1501 - 1722), woman, WWII-era provenance, Yusuf, Zulaykha
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Adrienne Minassian 1913 - 1994

Description

Detached folio from a dispersed copy of a Yusuf and Zulaykha by Jami; text: Persian in black nasta'liq script; recto: illustration: Egyptian women overwhelmed by Yusuf's beauty; verso: text: Egyptian women cut their hands at the sight of Yusuf's beauty, two columns, 14 lines.
Border: The recto is set in red, blue, green, and black rulings on cream-colored paper; the verso is set in black and gold rulings on cream-colored paper.

Label

The story of Yusuf and Zulayka is well known from the Old Testament (Genesis 37-45, where the principal characters are called Joseph and Potiphar's wife), the Qur'an (chapter XII), and secular literature. This painting belongs to a copy of the popular Persian poem composed by Jami. It depicts Zulaykha, seated under an arch, eating oranges with a group of Egyptian women. When the beautiful Yusuf walks onto the terrace, Zulaykha's guests are so bedazzled that they cut not only through the oranges but also through their fingers. One woman has even swooned at the sight!

Although no information is available about the painting's "parent" manuscript, the work can be assigned on stylistic grounds to Herat, the capital of the Timurid dynasty (1370-1506), and a major cultural center in the Safavid dynasty (1501-1732).

Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum