Miniatures

Bahram Gur in the Black Pavilion

Bahram Gur in the Black Pavilion
(click image to zoom-in)
Miniatures, Gouache, 23.7x13.7 cm
Origin: Iran, 1431-1431, Timurid Dynasty

This is one of the 9 miniatures illustrating the poem Haft Paikar in the Hermitage's famous Persian manuscript of the Khamsa, an anthology of five poems by the 12th-century poet Nizami, who lived on the territory of present-day Azerbaijan. In 1431 this manuscript of the Khamsa was copied out in Herat by the calligrapher Mahmud for Sultan Shahrukh , son of the legendary Tamerlaine .

The poem relates how Bahram Gur, Shah of Iran, married the daughters of the padishahs of seven lands. A fortress, Khavarnak, was built specially, with pavilions for each of the princesses. The colour of each of the pavilions accorded with a particular day of the week and with the planets protecting that day. Bahram Gur visited each of the seven pavilions in turn, where each of the princesses told him a magical story of love, symbolizing the passing of man's spirit through seven stages on the mystical path to God. Each tale ends with praise of the relative colour.

On Saturday , Bahram Gur visited the Indian princess in the Black Pavilion. Each of the compositions showing the ruler's visits to the seven pavilions is very similar: Bahram Gur lies on cushions, with the princess seated at his feet and telling her tale. The differences are in the colour and here the artist creates a harmonious pattern of black and gold, the overall effect lightened by the white and blue of the upper parts of the walls.

Album: The Khamsa by Nizami
Personage: Bahram Gur
Source of entry: First Branch of the State Hermitage Museum, 1924
School: Herat
Theme: Literature

See also

Bahram Gur and the Princess in the Black Pavilion 1538
"Bahram Gur and the Princess in the Black Pavilion" from Hatifi Haft Manzar, Blair, Sheila S. and Bloom Jonathan M. The Art and Architecture of Islam ...
Iran, Shiraz. Bahram Gur with the Indian Princess in the Black ...
Bahram Gur with the Indian Princess in the Black Pavillion, Page from a Manuscript of the Khamsa of Nizami. Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Nezami - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sassanid king, Bahram Gur is a great favourite in Persian ... Depction of Nezami's "Bahram and the Indian Princess in the Black Pavilion" ...
bahram1480
"BAHRAM GUR IN THE BLACK PAVILION. TURKMAN, CIRCA 1480. Gouache heightened with gold and silver on paper, page from a manuscript of the Khamsa of Nizami, ...

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