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Khusraw Watching Shirin Bathing
Folio from Khamsa of Nizami




Safavid period (1501-1722/36)


Khusraw Watching Shirin Bathing
Folio from Khamsa of Nizami




Tempera, gold


25.7 x 14.5 cm


Gift of Miss Mabel Molson, inv. Dr.1986(1932.Ea.1).42


Graphic Arts

The Khamsah of Nizami is a popular manuscript of poetry originally written by Nizami Ganjavi (1141-1209), a masterful Persian poet known for his epics. The Khamsah is a series of five narrative poems that recount the lives of historical figures and romantic tales, which served as a popular subject for manuscript illustration and attests to the rich history of figural illustration and the arts of the book. The scene derives from the popular tale of two lovers – Khusraw (a Sassanian king) and Shirin (an Armenian princess). In this famous scene, Khusraw watches Shirin bathe in the foreground. She is in a stream surrounded by flowers next to a cypress tree and a blossoming tree, and her black horse stands to the left.

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