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Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper
Text area: 17.8 x 9.5 cm (7 x 3 3/4 in.); Page: 31.6 x 20.4 cm (12 7/16 x 8 1/16 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 2013.315.1.a
Zulaykha is shown four times: twice in the murals, seated in the center, and below when she is much older.
This page illustrates two episodes from the story of Joseph and Zulaykha. In the first, Zulaykha awaits Joseph in the house she has built for them. She has painted the walls with romantic scenes and dressed herself alluringly with the intention of seducing him. The artist has discreetly inserted his name and the painting’s date in a brick of the house at the upper left. The virtuous Joseph, with flaming halo and eternally youthful features, rejects the married woman’s advances, but many years later, when Zulaykha is an elderly widow, they are reunited. In the second episode we see the aged Zulaykha meeting Joseph. His prayers will restore her to youthful beauty, and the two will finally be joined as lovers.
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