Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | Ḵosrow and Širin of Neẓāmi

Manuscript K, no. 1

Banquet of a Prince and Princess

The princess, wearing a crown, is seated on a dais in front of a tiled facade decorated with a panel of finely painted birds, on the left side of the composition. She converses with a turbanned young man, probably a prince, seated on a hexagonal throne in front of her, more towards the center of the painting. In his left hand he holds a scroll. Fourteen young ladies, scattered about the composition in groups of two or three, comprise the entourage of the princess. They follow various pursuits - some are servants carrying vessels of food and drink, others play musical instruments, while others just observe. A second tiled structure appears in the right background, with a balcony window on the second floor. The scene takes place in what appears to be the sumptuous courtyard of a palace. Between the two structures that form the distant limits of the courtyard is a fence, and beyond it a garden with a tree, a vine, some bushes, and a golden sky at the top. A small rectangular pool, seen in plan, occupies the center foreground. Many vessels of various shape, but mostly long-necked, are dispersed about the picture.

The dimensions of the painting are not known, There is no text on the page, but a rectangular ruled frame encloses the painting and separates it from the marginal design. The features of the young prince have been damaged; there are, however, no other signs of significant damage visible in the reproduction by Kubicova. There is an inscription, not legible in the reproduction, on the surface of the tambourine in the right foreground, which may be Moʿin’s signature. The painting has been attributed to Moʿin by Kubicova and Stchoukine. Although the general style is that of Moʿin, it is impossible to judge the quality of the painting and authenticity of the attribution from the reproduction in Kubicova. There is an undeniable relationship between this composition and the one that appears on folio 1v of Manuscript C; either one influenced the other, or they were both derived from a common source. That painting was executed by Moʿin; whether this painting is another variant also painted by the master, or a derivative work executed by a workshop assistant remains uncertain.

Kubicova states that the page is in The Archaeological Museum in Tehran. However, the Iran Bastam claims that the painting is not in their collection.

Kubicova, PM_1960, plate 37 (in color), and p.68-69.
Stchoukine, SA_1964, p.66 (not ill.).

Robert Eng
Last Updated: April 26, 2011 | Originally published: April 26, 2011