A copy of Sadi’s Kulliyat (Collected Works). The first miniature (fol. 232v): “Shirin Visits Farhad on Mount Bisitun”
Iran, Shiraz; 942 H = 1535-1536
Leaf: 28 × 17.8 cm
This manuscript, which is still in its contemporary gilded binding was copied by Muhammad Qivam al-Din Shirazi, one of the best-known calligraphers in the city of Shiraz. The work has six good-quality miniatures.
Sheikh Sadi’s Kulliyat is the collected works of this famous Persian poet, including Gullistan (The Rose Garden), Bustan (The Flower Garden) and Kitab-i tayyibat (The Book of Delights), from which this miniature comes.
The story is the familiar one of King Khusraw and the Armenian Princess Shirin, who are finally united after many tribulations. Another one of Shirin’s suitors is the stonemason Farhad, who has been ordered by Khusraw to dig a channel so that Shirin could have fresh milk brought to her. Farhad does so and also carves a sculpture of Khusraw and Shirin; this is what we see Shirin inspecting here. When Farhad falls madly in love with the princess, Khusraw has him build a road, promising him Shirin as a reward. Just as the impossible task is almost finished, Khusraw informs Farhad that Shirin is dead, and Farhad commits suicide.
Frontispiece, fol. 1v-2r, "Royal Picnic"
Fol. 20r, "Barsisa is Hanged"
Fol. 168r, "Sheikh Sadi Feigns Belief in the Idol"
Fol. 301v, "A Royal Gathering at Night"
Inv. no. 59/2006
Joachim Meyer and Peter Wandel: Sufisme: islams mystiske vej, Davids Samling, København 2011, pp. 46-47;
Kjeld von Folsach, Joachim Meyer: The Human Figure in Islamic Art – Holy Men, Princes, and Commoners, The David Collection, Copenhagen 2017, fig. 19, p. 57;
Kjeld von Folsach, Joachim Meyer and Peter Wandel: Fighting, Hunting, Impressing. Arms and Armour from the Islamic World 1500-1850, The David Collection, Copenhagen 2021, cat.no. 75;