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"Laila and Majnun in School", Folio from a Khamsa (Quintet) of Nizami
Author: Nizami (Ilyas Abu Muhammad Nizam al-Din of Ganja) (probably 1141–1217)
Calligrapher: Sultan Muhammad Nur (ca. 1472–ca. 1536)
Calligrapher: Mahmud Muzahhib
Artist: Painting by Shaikh Zada
Object Name: Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date: A.H. 931/A.D. 1524–25
Geography: present-day Afghanistan, Herat
Culture: Islamic
Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Dimensions: Painting: H. 7 1/2 in. (19.1 cm) W. 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm) Page: H. 12 5/8 in. (32.1 cm) W. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm) Mat: H. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm) W. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
Classification: Codices
Credit Line: Gift of Alexander Smith Cochran, 1913
Accession Number:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

One of the best-known stories of Nizami’s Khamsa (Quintet) is that of Laila and Majnun, a tale akin to that of the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. This folio illustrates their meeting at the madrasa (school) where they fall in love at first sight. In addition to the young lovers, this highly detailed painting depicts activities typical of the sixteenthcentury schoolyard—with children burnishing paper, practicing their penmanship, and reading various types of books. Although the story takes place in Arabia, the architectural setting is quintessentially Persian.

F. R. Martin, Sweden; Alexander Smith Cochran, Yonkers, NY (until 1913; gifted to MMA)
"Laila and Majnun in School", Folio from a Khamsa (Quintet) of Nizami

Calligrapher: Sultan Muhammad Nur (ca. 1472–ca. 1536)




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