manuscript(Khamsa (Hasht Bihisht));
- Museum number
Bahram Gur hunting with Dilaram. Detached folio from a dispersed illustrated manuscript of the Khamsa (Quintet) of Amir Khusraw Dihlavi, later mounted onto a detached album folio. Painting depicts Bahram Gur (central figure) on horseback hunting three doe, illustrating a story recounted in the Hasht Bihisht (Eight paradises) of the Indo-Persian poet Amir Khusraw Dihlavi. Behind the hunter stand two attendants on horseback and one on foot. In the far distance, two hunters stand behind a rocky hill. A stream, rocky hills and minimal foliage decorate the background. Two columns, each composed of three lines of text, appear in the top right corner.
Ink, opaque watercolour and gold on paper.
- Production date
- 1610 (circa)
Height: 19.90 centimetres (image)
Height: 41.60 centimetres (sheet)
Width: 12 centimetres (image)
Width: 26.50 centimetres (sheet)
- Curator's comments
This painting depicts one of the many hunting feats of Bahram Gur in which the king boasted that he could make a stag a doe and vice versa. As his consort, Fitna (also spelled Fitneh), strummed the harp, he proceeded to shoot off the antlers of the stag and shoot two arrows into the head of the doe to make two 'antlers' where none had been before.
According to John Seyller, this and 1920,0917,0.59 come from a Khamsa of Amir Khusraw Dihlavi in the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin. The ms. is dated 1610-11.
This scene depicts part of a popular story about the Sasanian ruler Bahram V (ruled AD 420–438), known for his hunting prowess as Bahram Gur (Persian for ‘onager’, a fast-running wild ass). Boasting to his servant Dilaram that he could transform a stag into a doe and vice versa, the ruler shoots the antlers off a stag and forms a pair of antlers on a doe by piercing its head with two arrows. Rooted in oral tradition, this tale was recounted and illustrated in several versions. The scene featured here is from the Hasht bihisht (Eight paradises), one of the five stories included in the Indo-Persian poet Amir Khusraw Dihlavi’s version of the Khamsa.
Text previously identified as the Haft Paykar in the Khamsa of Nizami. Corrected to the Hasht Bihisht of Amir Khusraw Dihlavi (9 Jul 2012, L. Akbarnia).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2012 - 2013 7 Aug - 27 Jan, BM, 'Fair Play: Heroes, Athletes & Princes in Islamic Art'
2002 Jun, BM G34/Addis, The Hunt
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Hasht Bihisht
Associated Title: Khamsa of Amir Khusraw Dihlavi
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Transferred from the Department of Oriental Manuscripts and Printed Books (OMPB).
- Middle East
- Registration number