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facing folios 58 bound, 59 detached: Folio from a <i>Khusraw u Shirin</i> by Nizami (d.1209); recto: illustration: The sculptor Farhad brought before Shirin; verso: text

one of set: 9980 one of set: 9981 one of set: 9982 one of set: 9974 one of set: 9975 one of set: 9976 one of set: 9977 one of set: 9978

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

Detached manuscript folio
Calligrapher: Ali ibn Hasan al-Sultani
Historical period(s)
Jalayirid period, ca. 1400
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
27.3 x 16.5 cm
Credit Line
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
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.
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.

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]


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

[2] See note 1.

On View Location
Currently not on view
Farhad, Iran, Jalayirid dynasty (1340 - 1432), nasta'liq script, princess, Shirin
Collection(s) Area
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

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