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Detached page of Persian verses by three poets

Creation date: 16th century
Creation place: Iran

Other Information

Type: Manuscript Calligraphy
Medium and Support: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Credit Line: Gift of the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection
Accession Number: 2006.219
State/Province: Fars Province
Dimensions: 9 1/2 in. x 6 1/4 in. (24.13 cm x 15.88 cm)
Currently on view


Catherine Glynn Benkaim, Beverly Hills, California (1960s - November 2, 2006)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (November 2, 2006 - )

Label Copy

Gallery 13N label Mar 2023

Detached page of Persian verses by three poets 
Iran, Shiraz, 16th century 
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper 
Gift of the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection,

This illuminated page of nasta ‘liq calligraphy collects verses from three Persian literary classics, each of which encompasses figures or tales from the Shahnameh. The four columns closest to the right edge include verses from the Haft Awrang, or “Seven Thrones,” of Jami’ (d. 1492). The outermost columns wrapping around these central verses come from the earlier Iskandarnameh, or “Book of Alexander,” in the Khamseh, or “Quintet,” of Nizami (d. 1209). The two remaining columns situated in between these two texts contain an excerpt from the romance between Iranian’s Sasanian king Khusraw II and the Armenian princess Shirin in the Khamseh of Indopersian poet Amir Khusraw Dihlavi (d. 1492).


Gallery 11 Label Dec 2015

Page of text
Iran, Shiraz, 16th century
Opaque watercolor, gold, and ink on paper

The unusual arrangement of the writing on this page, filling columns oriented both vertically and diagonally, suggests that it comes from a book of poetry, because poetry books were often copied in this distinctive fashion. The title in an illuminated panel on the left side of the page refers to Dara and Sikander, enemies from the famous Book of Kings (Shahnameh) who were also the subject of many other poems.
Gift of the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection, 2006.219

Last Updated: 2/28/2023


This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Temple Palace and Mosque Rotations San Diego Museum of Art , 8/16/2010 - 00/00/00

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