Layli visits Majnun in the Grove
One of the best models for mystical love in the Islamic world is the tragic hero Majnun, whose love for Layli ultimately drove him to insanity and exile. Although the story’s roots lie in an Arabic tale, it is the subject of one of the five narrative poems of the Khamsa (Quintet), by the Persian poet Nizami of Ganja (1141–1209), and from Iran it spread to India. Illustrations of Majnun in the wilderness are common in eastern Islamic manuscripts. Although this scene lacks the refinement of court-commissioned manuscripts, it is a testament to the popularity of the story. Here Majnun, in a state of self-annihilation—bearded, with matted hair, emaciated, and dressed in only a loincloth—is united with his beloved after years of separation. While certain elements such as the animals and tree suggest Mughal conventions, Layli’s figure, pose, and dress suggest that parts of the scene were repainted at a later date.
Ink and opaque watercolor on paper
sheet: 9 3/8 x 6 in. (23.8 x 15.2 cm)
image: 6 3/4 x 4 3/4 in. (71.1 x 12.1 cm) (show scale)
Persian inscriptions describe the scene from the Khamsa of Nizami; the text corresponds to the iconography of this scene. (M. Ekhtiar)
This item is not on view
Brooklyn Museum Collection
No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Indian. Layli visits Majnun in the Grove, 17th century. Ink and opaque watercolor on paper, sheet: 9 3/8 x 6 in. (23.8 x 15.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, X635.1 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, X635.1_PS2.jpg)
overall, X635.1_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2008
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.