Skip Navigation

Yusuf and Zulaykha

Asian Art

CULTURE Indian
MEDIUM Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
  • Place Made: Deccan, India
  • DATES 1875-1900
    DYNASTY Mughal
    DIMENSIONS Sheet: 11 3/4 x 19 15/16 in. (29.8 x 50.6 cm) Image: 8 7/8 x 12 7/8 in. (22.5 x 32.7 cm)  (show scale)
    INSCRIPTIONS Identification of figures, inscribed on left: "Hazrat, Jinab, Yusuf, Aleihem al-salawat va-al-salam" In the margin at the right, in Persian, in nastaliq script: "His excellency, Saint Yusuf, praise and peace be upon him. Hazrat, Jainab, Yusuf, Aleihem al-salawat wa-al-salam."
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 59.206.7
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Philip P. Weisberg
    RIGHTS STATEMENT 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 reproductions@brooklynmuseum.org (charges apply).

    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 copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
    CAPTION Indian. Yusuf and Zulaykha, 1875-1900. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, Sheet: 11 3/4 x 19 15/16 in. (29.8 x 50.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Philip P. Weisberg, 59.206.7
    IMAGE overall, 59.206.7_IMLS_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
    "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.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Before one of four city gates an outsized sultan greets a holy personage whose head is set off by a flaming mandoral. Male and female courtiers of every walk of life pay homage to him or carry on with their work. Around the periphery of the city we see the roofs of buildings and rectangles, representing interiors in which the inhabitants work and socialize. In the center of the painting the sultan's white palace is visible, complete with its garden and harem. Despite the oddities of scale and perspective and the unprepossessing style here, the artist has succeeded in illustrating the charming, multifaceted character of traditional Indian life. The topographical view of the palace quarter is a reinterpretation of a convention used in Central Indian and even Nepalese paintings of the nineteenth century to indicate a palace scene. The crowding of figures shown in sizes that extend from large to miniature conveys the rich variety of activity in the bazaar. Specific areas where foods, clothes, and objects are sold are rendered with extraordinary clarity, while even the minuscule figures in the background show such activities as monkey entertainers and figures in palanquins, on elephants, and with bullock carts (set in contemporaneous Hyderabad). In the center of the painting the sultan's white palace is visible, complete with its garden and harem. This swarming activity is contained within a carefully rendered enframement of rectangles, each of which reveals figures pursuing their daily routines. The rigidity of these bands of carefully ruled blocks is relieved by a second border of minuscule buildings depicting the range of architectural styles and purposes in the busy town. Despite the oddities of scale and perspective, the artist has succeeded in illustrating the active, multifaceted character of traditional Indian life. Inscription: In the margin at the right, in Persian, in nastaliq script: "His Excellency, Saint Yusuf, praise and peace be upon him. Hazrat, Jainab, Yusuf, Aleihem al-salawat wa-al-salam." Condition: See conservator's report.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Good (79%)
    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.