Miniature (Seated Couple)
About the work
Place: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Whitehall
This drawing shows a man and a woman seated and holding hands, while a second woman is seen standing within a building behind them. While the hands of the two women are stained orange, the foreheads of all the figures are stained yellow. The image is accompanied by lines from an Urdu translation of ‘The Shahaname’ or 'Book of Kings'. However, the handwriting is poor and there are some misspellings.
‘The Shahaname’ is an epic poem by the Persian poet Ferdowsi (940-1020AD), which covers the mythical and historical past of Persia, up to the 7th century. Ferdowsi collected together numerous pre-Islamic stories, legends, accounts of history and poems that had been passed on by word of mouth for generations. Using these sources he wrote ‘The Shahaname’ in rhyming couplets over a period of 35 years, completing the work in about 1010AD. This work is copied from a page of one of the countless versions of the work and may have been made in India or Pakistan for the tourist industry during the 20th century.
About the artist
Indian or Pakistani unknown
- Miniature (Seated Couple)
- Ink and gouache on paper
- height: cm, width: cm
- Purchased from the The Print Room, October 1990
- Urdu text above and below image, translates as: 'Isfandiyar, heard a voice and stood and said to Pashutan O you celebrated! My heart was in anxiety and fear at night, I hope that your life be free from restlessness, What can I say that the wounds [which I incurred to the body of Rustam] aren’t lethal? I am surprised that he is fit and fine Look at him and see how his situation is In spite of the injuries he is well and intrepid.'
- GAC number