We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


verso: Bahram Gur receiving an attendant on the terrace of a small pavilion, surrounded by maidens recto: four columns of script

late 17th century


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Other Title
    Story of Bahram Gur
    Place where the work was made
    Golconda Hyderabad Telangana India
    Deccani Mughal circa 1590 - circa 1800 → India
    late 17th century
    Media category
    Materials used
    opaque watercolour on paper
    20.7 x 12.1 cm image; 25.2 x 15.0 cm sheet
    Gift of Dr Jim Masselos 2022
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    While originating in what is now Iran, the traditions of Persian poetry and story-telling through text and illuminations held a great sphere of influence over neighbouring empires. Patrons of the Ottoman Turks and the Indian Mughals commissioned poets and artisans to retell the dramatic episodes of love in the courts and bloodshed on the battlefields. A number illuminate the Persian epics that celebrate love and heroism such as the Shahnameh (Book of Kings) completed by Abu’l Qasim Firdausi in 1010 CE and the Haft Pakyar (The Seven Beauties) written by Nizami Ganjavi in 1197. While the works remain secular they are laden with moralistic and legendry tales laced with historical figures and events. A hero of both epics is Bahram Gur whose character derives from the historical Sasanian king, Bahram V. Here we see Bahram Gur as mentioned in Amīr Khusrau’s poem Hasht-Bihisht (The Eight Paradises) written circa 1302 and based on Nazmi’s Haft Paykar.

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication