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Bahrām Gūr and the Slavic Princess

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Niẓāmī Ganjavī
(ca. 1141–1209)

Bahrām Gūr and the Slavic and the Slavic Princess Nasrīnnosh in the Red Pavilion

Khamsa (Quintet), in Persian, written by Mullā Fatḥ Muḥammad

Probably Mughal Ahmedabad
ca. 1618
122 x 81 mm

Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1910

MS M.445, fol. 224v
Item description: 

This episode appears in the Haft Paikar (Seven Princesses), the last part (1197) of the Persian poet Niẓāmī's Khamsa (Quintet). It is essentially a romanticized biography of Bahrām Gūr, a Persian king (r. 421–438) and a renowned hunter and lover.

On Tuesday, the day of Mars, dressed in red, Bahrām Gūr visits the Red Pavilion. Bahrām, whose name is the Persian term for "Mars," is in his own domain as Nasrīnnosh tells her story.

In Russia there lived a princess so beautiful and learned that she was unable to find an equal. She agreed to accept a suitor who was of noble descent, able to disarm the talismans, find entry to her fortress, and solve four riddles. Those who failed were beheaded. One young suitor, however, with the help of an old man, won the prize and thereafter dressed in red.

The story became the prototype for Puccini's opera, Turandot, a popular name for girls in the Near East.

Exhibition section: 

This episode appears in the Haft Paikar (Seven Princesses), the last part (1197) of the Persian poet Niẓāmī's Khamsa (Quintet). It is essentially a romanticized biography of Bahrām Gūr, a Persian king (r. 421–438) and a renowned hunter and lover.

On Tuesday, the day of Mars, dressed in red, Bahrām Gūr visits the Red Pavilion. Bahrām, whose name is the Persian term for "Mars," is in his own domain as Nasrīnnosh tells her story.

In Russia there lived a princess so beautiful and learned that she was unable to find an equal. She agreed to accept a suitor who was of noble descent, able to disarm the talismans, find entry to her fortress, and solve four riddles. Those who failed were beheaded. One young suitor, however, with the help of an old man, won the prize and thereafter dressed in red.

The story became the prototype for Puccini's opera, Turandot, a popular name for girls in the Near East.