Folio from a Khamsa (Quintet) by Amir Khusraw Dihlavi (d.1325); verso: Bahram Gur in a rage; recto: text

Detached folio from a dispersed copy of Khamsa (Quintet) by Amir Khusraw Dihlavi, text: Persian in black nasta’liq script, recto: text, four columns, nineteen lines; verso: illustration and text, Bahram Gur in a rage, four columns, eleven lines; one of a group of six folios.
Border: Text is within a border of colored panels.

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Historical period(s)
Delhi Sultanate period, ca. 1450 or earlier
School
Pre-Mughal School
Medium
Opaque watercolor and ink on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 31.6 x 24.9 cm (12 7/16 x 9 13/16 in)
Geography
India
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1986.120
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Detached manuscript folio

Keywords
archery, Bahram Gur, bow, deer, Delhi Sultanate (1206 - 1526), emperor, Henri Vever collection, horse, India, Khamsa, Nazanin, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Description

Detached folio from a dispersed copy of Khamsa (Quintet) by Amir Khusraw Dihlavi, text: Persian in black nasta'liq script, recto: text, four columns, nineteen lines; verso: illustration and text, Bahram Gur in a rage, four columns, eleven lines; one of a group of six folios.
Border: Text is within a border of colored panels.

Inscription(s)

Stamps: London 1931 - VV45/418; Paris Douanes Expo; Paris Douanes Centrale Ex/ portation/ Tailleur Fils [see notes]; abstract of text: Bahram Gor, out hunting with his concubine Naznin, has performed a feat of archery: by castrating a male gazelle and shooting two arrows into the head of a female, he has "turned a male into a female and a female into a male." When he asks Naznin what she thinks of this feat, she replies that, although it was pretty good, others could probably do as well, if not better. In a rage, Bahram Gor responds, "What I did was perfection. How could anyone do any better? If you think there is someone better than me, go to him!"; în sukhan guft u pay ba kîn afshurd/ û fikandash zi zîn u markab burd/ Shud shah u Nâznîn ba ranj bimând/ Azhdihâ barguzasht u ganj bimând [Thus saying, he took to revenge/ throwing her from her saddle and taking her horse away./ The king left, leaving Naznin in pain:/ the dragon went away and the treasure remained behind.] [Lines immediately above and below illustration, which shows Naznin lying on the ground and the gazelles with their sexes "reversed" by Bahram Gor.]

Published References
  • Eloise Brac de la Perriere. Les manuscrits a peintures dans l'Inde des sultanats: l'exemple de la Khamse dispersee d'Amir Khosrow Dehlavi, c. 1450. vol. 56. p. 34, fig. 26.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. A Volume of Homage: A Jain Manuscript, 1411. vol. 1, no. 3 New York, Summer 1988. p. 51.
  • B. W. Robinson. Fifteenth-Century Persian Painting: Problems and Issues. Hagop Kevorkian Series on Near Eastern Art and Civilization New York. p. 63.
  • Glenn D. Lowry, Milo Cleveland Beach, Elisabeth West FitzHugh, Susan Nemanzee, Janet Snyder. An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. cat. 197, pp. 165-166.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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