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Manuscript Overview
References
Bindings & Oddities

Abstract

This is a deluxe copy of the Khamsah (quintet) of Amīr Khusraw Dihlavī (d. 725 AH / 1325 CE). The manuscript was written in nastaʿlīq script by one of the greatest calligraphers of the Mughal atelier, Muḥammad Ḥusayn al-Kashmīrī, honored with the epithet Zarrīn Qalam (golden pen). This copy of Dihlavī's Khamsah, likely produced in Lahore (present-day Pakistan) in the late tenth century AH / sixteenth CE, is associated with the patronage of Akbar (r. 963-1014 AH / 1556-1605 CE). The manuscript bears the names of a number of painters and illuminators. The illustrations bear ascriptions to the following artists: Laʿl (Lāl), Manūhar, Sānwalah, Farrukh, Alīqulī, Dharamdās, Narsing, Jagannāth, Miskīnā, Mukund, and Sūrdās Gujarātī. The illuminators are Ḥusayn Naqqāsh, Manṣūr Naqqāsh, Khvājah Jān Shīrāzī, and Luṭf Allāh Muẕahhib. The borders are all elaborately illuminated with animal, bird, and geometric motifs, as well as human figures engaged in such activities as hunting, praying, and reading. The lacquer binding, decorated with pictorial scenes, is contemporary with the manuscript. Eight leaves from this copy of the Khamsah of Dihlavī are housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (13.228.26-33).

Text Note

Contains: Maṭlaʿ al-anvār (fols. 1a-41b), Shīrīn va Khusraw (fols. 42b-89b), Majnūn va Laylá (fols. 90b-119b, end missing), Āʾīnah-i Sikandarī (fols. 120a-173a, missing the first folio with the frontispiece and the incipit page), and Hasht bihisht (fols. 174b-211a); twenty-two folios missing from the original codex; lacunae at the following junctures: fols. 11/12, 15/16, 21/22, 28/29, 58/59 (four missing folios), 119/120 (six missing folios), 149/150, 157/158, 164/165, 181/182 (two missing folios), 184/185 (two missing folios), and 198/199

Hand note

Written in nastaʿlīq script in black, red, and blue ink

Decoration Note

Twenty-one illustrations (some inscribed): fols. 24b, 35a (ʿamal-i Laʿl), 40a, 51a (ʿamal-i Manūhar), 58a (ʿamal-i Sānwalah), 59a (ʿamal-i Sānwalah), 66b, 80a (ʿamal-i Farrukh), 94b (ʿamal-i ʿAlīqulī), 98a (ʿamal-i Dharamdās), 100b (ʿamal-i Laʿl), 113a, 115a (ʿamal-i Narsing), 128a (Jagannāth), 135a, 139a, 153b, 182b (Miskīnā and Farrukh), 188a, 203b (ʿamal-i Mukund), and 208b (ʿamal-i Sūrdās Gujarātī); two frontispieces (fols. 1a and 42a); two finispieces (fols. 173b and 211b); fol. 42a signed: ʿamal-i Ḥusayn Naqqāsh; four signed headpieces introducing various poems: fols. 1b (dhahhabahu Manṣūr Naqqāsh), 42b (Khvājah Jān Shīrāzī), 90b (ʿamal-i Luṭf Allāh muẕahhib), and 174b (Ḥusayn); borders illuminated with a wide variety of motifs. “Ten of the original thirty-one illustrations have been separated from the Walters Khamsa. Eight of these paintings made their way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the early twentieth century…” (Seyller, 41).

Contributors

artist: Manṣūr Naqqāsh

artist: Khvājah Jān Shīrāzī

artist: Luṭf Allāh muẕahhib

artist: Ḥusayn Naqqāsh

Lāl: Laʿl (artist)

artist: Manūhar

artist: Sānwalah

artist: Farrukh

artist: ʿAlīqulī

artist: Dharamdās

artist: Narsing

artist: Jagannāth

artist: Miskīnā

artist: Mukund

artist: Sūrdās Gujarātī

Principal cataloger: Gacek, Adam

Cataloger: Landau, Amy

Cataloger: Smith, Sita

Copy editor: Bockrath, Diane

Contributor: Barrera, Christina

Contributor: Emery, Doug

Contributor: Herbert, Lynley

Contributor: Noel, William

Contributor: Simpson, Shreve

Contributor: Tabritha, Ariel

Contributor: Toth, Michael B.

Contributor: Valle, Chiara

Conservator: Jewell, Stephanie

Conservator: Quandt, Abigail

Bibliography

Brend, Barbara. "Akbar's Khamsah of Amir Khusraw Dihlavi: A Reconstruction of the Cycle of Illustrations." Artibus Asiae 49 (1988/89): 281-315.


Verma, Som Prakash. Mughal Painters and their Work: A Biographical Survey and Comprehensive Catalogue. Aligarh: Centre of Advanced Study in History, Aligarh Muslim University; Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1994.


Seyller, John. Pearls of the Parrot of India: The Walters Art Museum Khamsa of Amīr Khusraw of Delhi. Baltimore: Walters Art Museum, 2001.


Brend, Barbara. Perspectives on Persian Painting: Illustrations to Amīr Khusrau's Khamsah. London; New York: Routledge/Curzon, 2003.


Blair, Sheila. Islamic Calligraphy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007.


These are pages that we pulled aside that disrupted the flow of the manuscript reader. These may be bindings, inserts, bookmarks, and various other oddities.

Upper board outside

Lower board outside

Keywords
Mughal
Calligraphy
Illustration
Islamic
Painting
Persian
India
Medallion
Binding
Original binding
Literature -- Poetry
Colophon

Origin Place

Probably Lahore (present-day Pakistan)

Date

The date reads 142 (!). It has been interpreted as the 42nd year of Emperor Akbar's reign, i.e. March 1597 -- March 1598 CE.

Form

book

Binding

Original Binding

Binding Description

Lacquer with pictorial scenes (no flap): upper board depicts an encounter between a prince and a reclusive sage; lower board depicts a host of fairies pummeling some outnumbered dīvs; doublures decorated with a field of small floral patterns; restored probably in Europe in the thirteenth century AH / nineteenth CE

Language

The primary language in this manuscript is Persian.

Provenance

Oval seal: Muḥammad Zakī, 1241 AH / 1825-6 CE

Oval seal: Muḥammad Zakī, 1241 AH / 1825-6 CE

Rectangular seal: ʿabd al-rājī Muḥammad Shafīʿ, 1247 AH / 1831-2 CE

Large oval seal: Muhammad ʿAlī, no date

Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters bequest

← search Five poems (quintet) W.624

Origin Place

Probably Lahore (present-day Pakistan)

Date

The date reads 142 (!). It has been interpreted as the 42nd year of Emperor Akbar's reign, i.e. March 1597 -- March 1598 CE.

Form

book

Language

The primary language in this manuscript is Persian.

Provenance

Oval seal: Muḥammad Zakī, 1241 AH / 1825-6 CE

Oval seal: Muḥammad Zakī, 1241 AH / 1825-6 CE

Rectangular seal: ʿabd al-rājī Muḥammad Shafīʿ, 1247 AH / 1831-2 CE

Large oval seal: Muhammad ʿAlī, no date

Acquisition

Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters bequest

Manuscript Overview

Abstract

This is a deluxe copy of the Khamsah (quintet) of Amīr Khusraw Dihlavī (d. 725 AH / 1325 CE). The manuscript was written in nastaʿlīq script by one of the greatest calligraphers of the Mughal atelier, Muḥammad Ḥusayn al-Kashmīrī, honored with the epithet Zarrīn Qalam (golden pen). This copy of Dihlavī's Khamsah, likely produced in Lahore (present-day Pakistan) in the late tenth century AH / sixteenth CE, is associated with the patronage of Akbar (r. 963-1014 AH / 1556-1605 CE). The manuscript bears the names of a number of painters and illuminators. The illustrations bear ascriptions to the following artists: Laʿl (Lāl), Manūhar, Sānwalah, Farrukh, Alīqulī, Dharamdās, Narsing, Jagannāth, Miskīnā, Mukund, and Sūrdās Gujarātī. The illuminators are Ḥusayn Naqqāsh, Manṣūr Naqqāsh, Khvājah Jān Shīrāzī, and Luṭf Allāh Muẕahhib. The borders are all elaborately illuminated with animal, bird, and geometric motifs, as well as human figures engaged in such activities as hunting, praying, and reading. The lacquer binding, decorated with pictorial scenes, is contemporary with the manuscript. Eight leaves from this copy of the Khamsah of Dihlavī are housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (13.228.26-33).

Text Note

Contains: Maṭlaʿ al-anvār (fols. 1a-41b), Shīrīn va Khusraw (fols. 42b-89b), Majnūn va Laylá (fols. 90b-119b, end missing), Āʾīnah-i Sikandarī (fols. 120a-173a, missing the first folio with the frontispiece and the incipit page), and Hasht bihisht (fols. 174b-211a); twenty-two folios missing from the original codex; lacunae at the following junctures: fols. 11/12, 15/16, 21/22, 28/29, 58/59 (four missing folios), 119/120 (six missing folios), 149/150, 157/158, 164/165, 181/182 (two missing folios), 184/185 (two missing folios), and 198/199

Hand note

Written in nastaʿlīq script in black, red, and blue ink

Decoration Note

Twenty-one illustrations (some inscribed): fols. 24b, 35a (ʿamal-i Laʿl), 40a, 51a (ʿamal-i Manūhar), 58a (ʿamal-i Sānwalah), 59a (ʿamal-i Sānwalah), 66b, 80a (ʿamal-i Farrukh), 94b (ʿamal-i ʿAlīqulī), 98a (ʿamal-i Dharamdās), 100b (ʿamal-i Laʿl), 113a, 115a (ʿamal-i Narsing), 128a (Jagannāth), 135a, 139a, 153b, 182b (Miskīnā and Farrukh), 188a, 203b (ʿamal-i Mukund), and 208b (ʿamal-i Sūrdās Gujarātī); two frontispieces (fols. 1a and 42a); two finispieces (fols. 173b and 211b); fol. 42a signed: ʿamal-i Ḥusayn Naqqāsh; four signed headpieces introducing various poems: fols. 1b (dhahhabahu Manṣūr Naqqāsh), 42b (Khvājah Jān Shīrāzī), 90b (ʿamal-i Luṭf Allāh muẕahhib), and 174b (Ḥusayn); borders illuminated with a wide variety of motifs. “Ten of the original thirty-one illustrations have been separated from the Walters Khamsa. Eight of these paintings made their way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the early twentieth century…” (Seyller, 41).

References

Contributors

artist: Manṣūr Naqqāsh

artist: Khvājah Jān Shīrāzī

artist: Luṭf Allāh muẕahhib

artist: Ḥusayn Naqqāsh

Lāl: Laʿl (artist)

artist: Manūhar

artist: Sānwalah

artist: Farrukh

artist: ʿAlīqulī

artist: Dharamdās

artist: Narsing

artist: Jagannāth

artist: Miskīnā

artist: Mukund

artist: Sūrdās Gujarātī

Principal cataloger: Gacek, Adam

Cataloger: Landau, Amy

Cataloger: Smith, Sita

Copy editor: Bockrath, Diane

Contributor: Barrera, Christina

Contributor: Emery, Doug

Contributor: Herbert, Lynley

Contributor: Noel, William

Contributor: Simpson, Shreve

Contributor: Tabritha, Ariel

Contributor: Toth, Michael B.

Contributor: Valle, Chiara

Conservator: Jewell, Stephanie

Conservator: Quandt, Abigail

Bibliography

Brend, Barbara. "Akbar's Khamsah of Amir Khusraw Dihlavi: A Reconstruction of the Cycle of Illustrations." Artibus Asiae 49 (1988/89): 281-315.


Verma, Som Prakash. Mughal Painters and their Work: A Biographical Survey and Comprehensive Catalogue. Aligarh: Centre of Advanced Study in History, Aligarh Muslim University; Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1994.


Seyller, John. Pearls of the Parrot of India: The Walters Art Museum Khamsa of Amīr Khusraw of Delhi. Baltimore: Walters Art Museum, 2001.


Brend, Barbara. Perspectives on Persian Painting: Illustrations to Amīr Khusrau's Khamsah. London; New York: Routledge/Curzon, 2003.


Blair, Sheila. Islamic Calligraphy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007.


Bindings & Oddities

These are pages that we pulled aside that disrupted the flow of the manuscript reader. These may be bindings, inserts, bookmarks, and various other oddities.

Upper board outside

Lower board outside

Keywords
Mughal
Calligraphy
Illustration
Islamic
Painting
Persian
India
Medallion
Binding
Original binding
Literature -- Poetry
Colophon
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