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Image of Khosrow and Shirin hunting lions

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Bookmark: https://collection.sdmart.org/objects-1/info/5294

Khosrow and Shirin hunting lions


Creation date: ca. 1580
Creation place: Iran

Other Information

Type: Manuscript Painting
Medium and Support: Opaque watercolor on paper
Credit Line: Gift of Edwin Binney 3rd
Accession Number: 1971.61
Dimensions: 8 in. x 6 1/4 in. (20.32 cm x 15.88 cm)

Provenance

H.K. Monif, New York, New York ( - September 23, 1960)

Edwin Binney 3rd, San Diego, California (September 23, 1960 - December 21, 1971)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (December 21, 1971 - )

Label Copy

March 2005
Origins of Mughal Painting
Persian painting of the sixteenth century is characterized by pastel rocky hills, golden sky, doll-like figures, and Persian text inset into the picture space. Like most Persian paintings, this page is an illustration from a book of classic Persian literature. It tells of the vicissitudes in the romance between Khusrau, pre-Islamic Sassanian king of Persia, and Shirin, queen of Armenia, who was also in love with a sculptor. Here, Shirin expertly wields a bow and arrow while riding, and Khusrau, with the crested headdress, slays a lion.

June 2007
Lyric Visions
During their courtship, Shirin and her handmaidens from Armenia impressed Khosrow with their skill at hunting; indeed he marvels that they are like lionesses themselves on the hunting ground. Nezami couches the literal hunt as a metaphor for Khosrow’s romantic hunting of Shirin, though ironically it is he who ultimately falls prey to her and must improve his character and values for her sake.
Nezami is known for his portrayal of strong, intrepid, clever, and beautiful women. Shirin distinguishes herself by her ability to shoot her arrow accurately behind her while standing in the stirrups of her galloping horse, a pose made famous in art of the Sasanian period of the 3rd and 4th centuries.

Sonya Quintanilla (2014) Quebec
Khusrow and Shirin hunting lions
From a Khamsa («Quintet») of Nizami
Iran, ca. 1580
Opaque watercolor on paper. 20.32 x 15.88 cm
Gift of Edwin Binney 3rd, 1971.61

Persian painting of the sixteenth century is characterized by pastel rocky hills, golden sky, doll-like figures, and Persian text inset into the picture space.

During their courtship, Shirin and her handmaidens from Armenia impressed Khusrow with their skill at hunting; indeed he marvels that they are like lionesses themselves on the hunting ground. Nizami couches the literal hunt as a metaphor for Khusrow’s romantic hunting of Shirin, though ironically it is he who ultimately falls prey to her and must improve his character and values for her sake.
Last Updated: 9/5/2017

Exhibition

This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Islamic Art from the Edwin Binney Collection Phoenix Art Museum , 3/18/1977 - 5/1/1977

Lyric Visions from Nizami's "Quintet" , 6/14/2007 - 11/4/2007

Into India: South Asian Paintings from The San Diego Museum of Art San Diego Museum of Art , 2/28/2012 - 5/27/2012

Bibliography

This object has the following bibliographic references:

Dr. Sonya Quintanilla and Patrick Coleman. Visiones de la India Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Madrid, 2012
Page Number: 100, 270, Figure Number: cat. 39, p. 101

Dr. Sonya Quintanilla and Patrick Coleman. Visiones de la India (Mexico) Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia. Mexico , 2013
Page Number: 68, Figure Number: cat. 39, p. 69

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