Shirin is presented with Khusrau's portrait and falls in love Lucknow, circa 1780
Lot 74
An Illustration from the Iskandanama of Nezamni: Alexander in disguise at the court of Queen Nushaba Lucknow, late 18th Century
US$ 20,000 - 30,000
£12,000 - 18,000
Auction Details
Shirin is presented with Khusrau's portrait and falls in love Lucknow, circa 1780 The presentation Oudh, circa 1780
Lot Details
An Illustration from the Iskandanama of Nezamni: Alexander in disguise at the court of Queen Nushaba
Lucknow, late 18th Century
Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper; bordered by panels containing Nasta'liq script text within cloudbands and angled panels. Verso with a central panel of Nasta'liq calligraphy.

Under a broad textile canopy and surrounded by her female attendants, Alexander and his entourage present gifts and a portrait to Nushaba.
Image: 10 3/4 x 7 1/4 in. (27.3 x 18.4 cm) Folio: 22 3/4 x 15 in. (57.8 x 38 cm)

Footnotes

  • This classic composition of a dense crowd within a palace courtyard is characteristic of later Mughal works emulating 16th and 17th century dabar scenes. This scene represents the visit of Alexander dressed in disguise making a presentation to Queen Nushaba before her court of Amazons.

    Discussed in depth by Dr François de Blois (Persian literature Volume V, Pt. 2, Poetry ca. A.D. 1100 to 1225, London, 1994, pp. 438-8): "The Iskandarnama or Sharaf-nama discusses the birth of Alexander, his succession to the throne of Rum (Greece), his wars against Africans who invaded Egypt, his conquest of Persia and his marriage to the daughter of Darius. The episode also discusses Alexander's pilgrimage to Mecca, his stay in the Caucasus and his visit to Queen Nushaba of Barda and her court of Amazons...A striking feature in all [these] poems is the prominence of strong female characters."

    Provenance:
    Private Collection, Texas
    Acquired in London in the early 1990s
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