Bahram Visits the White Domed Pavilion on Friday, illustrated with text in Khamsa of Nizami (verso), from a Haft Paykar (Seven Portraits) of Nizami

Bahram Visits the White Domed Pavilion on Friday, illustrated with text in Khamsa of Nizami (verso), from a Haft Paykar (Seven Portraits) of Nizami

c. 1560-80

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Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper

Gift of William Kelly Simpson in memory of his wife Marilyn M. Simpson and her grandparents Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. 2006.146

Location

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The wife recounts a tale with dancing fairies, suggested by the girl dancing to music in the foreground of the painting.

Description

The Haft Paykar is an epic romantic poem that tells the story of the Sasanian king, Bahram Gur (ruled AD 420–38). The story relates how the king had an architect construct seven domed pavilions with different colors for each of his seven beautiful brides who came from different parts of the world. On each day of the week, the king visited one princess and enjoyed her company. In the center of this scene, sits Bahram and his bride from Iran dressed in resplendent white garments. Attendants bring them food and drink, while a dancer and an ensemble of musicians entertains them.

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