Excerpt from Saʻdi's "Gulistan"


This beautiful calligraphic fragment includes an excerpt from Gulistan (The rose garden), in which the author offers nasihat (advice) about each man's necessities. For example, a vazir (vizier or minister) needs a lashgar (army) and tarbiyat (education); a raʻiyat (farmer) must observe [nature]; kings need wise ministers; and brave men need silah (weapons) and asp (horses). The text is executed in black nastaʻliq script on a beige paper. The words are framed by cloud bands and placed on a gold background decorated with the painting of a tree and various flowers. The main text panel is framed by a border containing further verses in Persian on an illuminated background. The entire composition is then provided with a number of monochromatic frames and is pasted to a larger sheet of dark-blue paper decorated with gold flowers and backed by cardboard. The calligraphic specimen is neither dated nor signed. However, the decorative pattern and the style of the folio resemble folios inserted into albums produced during the 17th and 18th centuries in Mughal India.

Last updated: November 1, 2017