The dream of Zulaykha, from the Amber Album

The dream of Zulaykha, from the Amber Album

c. 1670

Opaque watercolor with gold on paper, pink and blue borders decorated with gold foliate motifs, text on verso

Page: 32 x 24.4 cm (12 5/8 x 9 5/8 in.)

Gift in honor of Madeline Neves Clapp; Gift of Mrs. Henry White Cannon by exchange; Bequest of Louise T. Cooper; Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund; From the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection 2013.332

Location

Did you know?

Joseph, the man of Zulaykha’s dreams, is dressed as a Mughal prince.

Description

In Islamic texts, as in the Hebrew and Christian Old Testament traditions, Zulaykha is the unnamed wife of Potiphar, a wealthy Egyptian. This scene is from a popular Persian poem that recounts the story of Joseph and Zulaykha as a mystical romance, and describes her visionary dreams of a beautiful lover. In this painting we see the luxuriously dressed Zulaykha asleep on a terrace, reclining on ornate pillows as a vision of her love, Joseph, appears before her. He is illuminated by radiant light cast down by angels emerging from the dark night clouds.

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