Image of young lovers

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Image of young lovers

Pay attention to the painting “Image of a young loving couple reading poems, while a maid stands by them”.

Image of young lovers

This type of oblong format manuscript (bayaz or safina) was readily used to copy poetic anthologies, often on coloured papers or, as here, with ornate margins. The figure with a slender silhouette is found in particular in a number of pain tings of the mid-sixteenth century during the reign of ‘Abd al-‘Aziz. 

The couplet in the golden frame does not belong to the text of the poems on the pages that precede or follow this one. It is the first bayt from a ghazal of Hafiz (ghazal No 477 «two sagacious lovers, ... the secret of old wine, leisure, a book and the corner of a meadow»). It is therefore indeed, as for painting, an addition made during the 16th century. Another image of a couple reading such a book illustrated another text, a Yusuf va Zulaykha by Jami that was sold in an auction in 2014.

You can learn more about the topic in the book-album "Illustrated manuscripts from Mawarannahr in the collections of France" (Volume XXIX) in the series "The Cultural Legacy of Uzbekistan".

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