"A Muslim Pilgrim Learns a Lesson in Piety from a Brahman", Folio from a Khamsa (Quintet) of Amir Khusrau Dihlavi
Amir Khusrau Dihlavi (1253–1325)
Muhammad Husain Kashmiri (active ca. 1560–1611)
Painting by Basawan (Indian, active ca. 1556–1600)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Image: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Margins: Gold on dyed paper
H. 9 7/8 in. (25.1 cm)
W. 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm)
Gift of Alexander Smith Cochran, 1913
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 463
The Khamsa (Quintet) of the Indian poet Amir Khusrau Dihlavi localizes its model, the Khamsa of Nizami, by rooting several of the stories in an Indian idiom. Likewise, the illustrations made for Akbar’s (r. 1556–1605) copy are set in typically Indian landscapes. Here, a Muslim pilgrim to Mecca meets a Brahman who travels to a Hindu temple by inching his way in a series of prostrations. Impressed by this religious zeal, the Muslim removes his own shoes and continues on his way barefoot.
Inscription: Inscribed in Persian in nasta‘liq script:
گفت چو دل در ره بت باختم
پا برهش نیز ز دل ساختم
[He] said his heart is lost to his idol, my heart took a step on his path
Signature in Persian in nasta‘liq script at bottom left-hand corner of frame: عمل پساون
Work of Basawan
Alexander Smith Cochran, Yonkers, NY (until 1913; gifted to MMA)
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