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Entwined Geminis

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Entwined Geminis
  • Description

    Painting; astrological image representing the zodiac sign of Gemini. Two men, split from the waist up, embrace one another while gazing into each others eyes. Twelve lines of full text appear to the right and bottom of image. Painted in opaque watercolour and ink on paper.

  • School/style

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1630-1640 (circa)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Width: 12.5 centimetres (sheet)
    • Height: 18 centimetres (sheet)
    • Width: 7.1 centimetres (image)
    • Height: 12.5 centimetres (image)
  • Curator's comments

    The attribution to Iran, circa 1630-40 is based on stylistic comparison to paintings in an illustrated copy of Qazwini's `Aja'ib al-Makhluqat (Wonders of Creation) in the John Rylands Library (Ryl Pers 3), completed in Iran and included a colophon with the date 30 June 1632 (12 Dhu'l-hijja 1041) (see B.W. Robinson, Persian Paintings in the John Rylands Library [1980], pp. 295ff) (L. Akbarnia, 24 May 2013).

    Previously attributed to circa 1600.

    Previous comments (pre-2010):
    This depiction of the constellation Gemini once probably belonged to a scientific manuscript detailing the pictorial representations and properties of the signs of the zodiac. Although these images were derived from ancient Greek cosmological works, the artist of this painting has depicted the celestial twins as royal pages from the Safavid court; they are shown wearing scarlet red Persian robes and headgear made of expensive silk.

    This painting and 1949,1210,0.7 are believed to come from the same original illustrated manuscript.


  • Exhibition history


    2008 14 Apr-5 Nov, BM, Gallery 34, 'Fantastic Creatures'

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    12 August 2003

    Reason for treatment


    Treatment proposal



    overall good condition but attached to old, thin mount

    Treatment details

    Removed from mount with spatula. Residual adhesive and paper removed from edges verso with slightly moistened cotton swabs and scalpel

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Middle East

  • Registration number


Painting. General subject - astronomy. The zodiac sign of Gemini. On paper.
According to register, `two legged animal on reverse.'

Painting. General subject - astronomy. The zodiac sign of Gemini. On paper. According to register, `two legged animal on reverse.'

Image description



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Object reference number: RFM812

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