On the Lovers’ Passion


This calligraphic fragment includes an anecdote about the ishtiyaq-i muhibb va mahbub (passion of the lover and the beloved), as written in red ink in the upper-right corner. As the author then notes, the story seems to have been recorded by the prolific Arab prose writer al-Jahiz (died 869, 255 AH). The subsequent text describes the tragic story of two lovers who drowned at sea. The text is executed in minute shikastah-nasta'liq script in diagonal lines in two columns. Written on a beige paper, the text is framed by cloud bands on a gold background. The text panel is framed by a blue border with red and pink flowers and pasted to a larger sheet of paper backed by cardboard. The fragment appears to be signed in the upper-left corner; however, the signature is too small to be legible. The layout of the composition and the use of shikastah-nasta'liq script suggest that the piece was made in Iran during the 17th−18th centuries.

Last updated: May 3, 2016