Khusraw Discovers Shirin Bathing, From Pictorial Cycle of Eight Poetic Subjects
Arts of the Islamic World
On View: Asian Galleries, Southwest Lobby, 2nd floor
This image captures the culminating moment in the passionate love affair between Iran’s legendary King Khusraw II (Sasanian dynasty, r. 590–628) and Shirin, an Armenian princess. After days of longing, Khusraw coincidentally encounters Shirin for the first time as she bathes in a pond. Entranced by each other’s beauty, the lovers remain speechless. Although rooted in oral tradition, the tale of Khusraw and Shirin found its greatest expression as one of the five narrative poems of the Khamsa (Quintet), composed by the celebrated Nizami of Ganja (1141–1209), one of Iran’s greatest masters of romantic poetry.
Oil on canvas
mid 18th century
Bequest of Irma B. Wilkinson in memory of her husband, Charles K. Wilkinson
Prior to 1929, provenance not yet documented; before circa 1929, acquired by Ernst Emil Herzfeld of Tehran; before 1948, purchased from Ernst Emil Herzfeld by Charles K. Wilkinson of New York, NY; 1986, gift of Charles K. Wilkinson to Irma Bezold Wilkinson (Mrs. Charles K. Wilkinson) by inheritence; October 16, 1997, bequest of Irma Bezold Wilkinson to Brooklyn Museum.
Khusraw Discovers Shirin Bathing, From Pictorial Cycle of Eight Poetic Subjects, mid 18th century. Oil on canvas, 36 x 35 in. (91.4 x 88.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Irma B. Wilkinson in memory of her husband, Charles K. Wilkinson, 1997.108.7 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1997.108.7_unframed_PS11.jpg)
overall, unframed, 1997.108.7_unframed_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2022
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