Sep 29, 2010

Illuminated Folio from a Gulistan (Rose Garden) of Sa'di (c. 1213-1291)

Illuminated Folio from a Gulistan (Rose Garden) of Sa'di (c. 1213-1291)

c. 1475–1500, borders added c. 1550

Part of a set. See all set records

style of Sultan Muhammad



style of Sultan 'Ali al-Mashadi

(Iranian, 1430–1520)

Opaque watercolor, ink, gold, and silver 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. 2006.148



The Gulistan, completed around 1258, is one of the most celebrated works of Persian literature. The book’s name means “rose garden” in Persian; just as a rose garden is a collection of flowers, the contents are a collection of anecdotes. Written in both prose and verse, the Gulistan was used for centuries as a primer for schoolchildren in greater Iran, India, and Turkey. The text on these pages is written in nastaliq script and comes from the first chapter, “On the Conduct of Kings.”

The exquisite borders of these two folios show lions, dragons, foxes, and peacocks in a lush landscape, painted in gold and silver that has tarnished over time.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.