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Opaque watercolor and ink on paper
Image: 18.7 x 12.3 cm (7 3/8 x 4 13/16 in.); Overall: 23.2 x 15.5 cm (9 1/8 x 6 1/8 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1944.486.a
The Khamsa, a suite of five poems written by Nizami in the 12th century, recounts the history and legends of pre-Islamic Iran with an emphasis on love rather than war. Here, in an early extant depiction of a favorite story, Shah Bahram Gur visits a princess in a black pavilion; this is one of seven paintings depicting the king visiting one of his seven wives, each in a different colored pavilion, on successive days of the week. The princess is shown telling a story after a day of lovemaking.
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