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The Game of Chess

Nushirvan was known for his righteous rule and fair treatment of his subjects. He graciously welcomes the envoy of an Indian raja, who arrived with a thousand camels laden with sumptuous gifts of gold, silver, rubies, diamonds, and ambergris. Nushirvan and his courtiers are well pleased with the presentation of elegantly saddled horses and ten white elephants. After these diplomatic gifts are taken to the royal treasury, the envoy offers his most special and mysterious present: the game of chess.

detail from Nushirvan Receives an Embassy from the Raja of Hind

Detail, Nushirvan Receives an Embassy from the Raja of Hind. View full »


The Freer|Sackler is closed for renovation and reinstallation. The popular exhibition Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan is still on view in the International Gallery. (Enter through the Ripley Center.) Join us for our reopening celebration on October 14–15, 2017.