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Manuscript I

A single leaf with a painting from a dispersed manuscript of the Haft Paykar, or Seven Princesses, the fourth poem in the Ḵāmsa of Neẓāmi. It is not known if the manuscript from which this page derives was a complete Ḵāmsa, or only the Haft Paykar. It is a manuscript that is both mystical and exotic, in which the Sasanian king Bahrām Gur, remembering an encounter he had as a youth in Yemen with seven portraits of beautiful princesses, marries all seven of them, and builds a palace containing seven pavilions, each a different color for a different princess.

Another Neẓāmi illustration (cf. Manuscript J) might be from this same manuscript. The frames are of the same proportion, but the available information is insufficient to confirm or reject this possibility.

The Philadelphia Free Library, #FLP Lewis O P146.
Formerly in the John Fredrick Lewis Collection.

Circa 1660.


Robert Eng
Last Updated: April 18, 2011 | Originally published: April 18, 2011

no. 1
Bahrām Gur Entertained by the Princess in the Green Pavilion