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Ardavan’s slave-girl Gulnar with the young Ardashir

MSS 1030, folio 516 | Tabriz, Iran | painting dated 934 AH (1527–8 AD)

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Artwork Details

Title: Ardavan’s slave-girl Gulnar with the young Ardashir

Date: painting dated 934 AH (1527–8 AD)

Location: Tabriz, Iran

Materials: ink, gold and opaque watercolour on paper; margins heavily sprinkled with gold

Dimensions: 47.3 x 32cm (folio); 27.1 x 17.1cm (written surface, recto); 20.8 x 17.1cm (illustration, verso)

Accession Number: MSS 1030, folio 516

Other Notes:

Gulnar and Ardashir lie together under the covers in an embrace, with their slippers neatly arranged below. The rope which Gulnar used to lower herself down from the roof of her pavilion is tied around one of the crenellations to the left.

This is the only dated painting in the manuscript. The date appears in the frieze above the arch, ‘The edifice was completed during the course of the year 934’ (1427–8 AD).

[For the Shahnamah of Shah Tahmasp, see MSS 1030]


text copied in a superior nasta‘liq script, with 22 lines to the page, arranged in 4 columns, two to a couplet; headings (on the recto and verso) in riqa‘


J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.307, p.268.

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