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Nushirwan Listens to the Owls (recto): Illustration and Text, Persian Verses, from a Manuscript of the Khamsa of Nizami, Makhzan al-Asrar [Treasure of Secrets]

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December 31, 1554
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Cleveland Art
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Humayun 1530–1556

Nushirwan Listens to the Owls (recto): Illustration and Text, Persian Verses, from a Manuscript of the Khamsa of Nizami, Makhzan al-Asrar [Treasure of Secrets]

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Nushirwan Listens to the Owls (recto): Illustration and Text, Persian Verses, from a Manuscript of the Khamsa of Nizami, Makhzan al-Asrar [Treasure of Secrets] 1555-65 Part of a set. See all set records Iran, Qazvin, Safavid period (1501-1722) Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper Sheet: 32.7 x 21.8 cm (12 7/8 x 8 9/16 in.); Image: 20.3 x 12.7 cm (8 x 5 in.) Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1944.487.a DESCRIPTION This scene is from the Makhzan al-Ashrar, the first of the Quintet. Although more historically oriented than the following poems, it served more as a vehicle for moralizing tales than for historical events. In this scene Nushirwan asks the sage Buzurgmihr to explain what the owls perched on a ruined building are saying. He explains that one owl is offering the other as many ruined cities as he likes in exchange for his daughter's hand. He thus reproves Nushirwan for his love of conquest and war and the consequent destruction of many cities. INSCRIPTION script: Nasta'liq PROVENANCE ?-1944 (H. Kevorkian [1872–1962], New York, NY, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art) 1944- The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH CITATIONS The Cleveland Museum of Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art Handbook. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1958. Mentioned and Reproduced: cat. no. 725 archive.org The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1966. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1966. Reproduced: p. 223 archive.org The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1969. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1969. Reproduced: p. 223 archive.org The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1978. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978. Reproduced: p. 280 archive.org EXHIBITION HISTORY Muslim Miniature Paintings from American Collections. Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, Italy; Asia House, New York, NY (September 1962-February 1963). The classical style in Islamic painting: the early school of Herat and its impact on Islamic painting of the later 15th, the 16th and 17th centuries: some examples in American collections. Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, NY (November 6, 1968-January 4, 1969). Islamic Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (November 3, 1944-February 2, 1945). For Modern America from the Ancient Near East. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (February 24-March 21, 1948). Miniature Painting of India: A Comparison of Styles. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (September 2-November 8, 1958).

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