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Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper
Sheet: 29.6 x 16.2 cm (11 5/8 x 6 3/8 in.); Image: 21 x 13 cm (8 1/4 x 5 1/8 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1947.500.a
A suite of five poems, the Khamsa (khamsa is five in Arabic), written in the 1100s, was, like the earlier Shahnama, concerned with the history and legends of pre-Islamic Iran. But Nizami's interest was with love rather than war. In this, the second of the poems, he tells the story of these two famous star-crossed lovers. It is difficult to assign the illustrations here to specific episodes, but they may be concerned with Khusro's stay at the court of Shirin's aunt, the Queen of Azarbaijan. Shirin serves pomegranates to Khusro.
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