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Illuminated Manuscript, Five poems (quintet), Alexander the Great and his men watch naked girls swim in the Sea of China, Walters Art Museum Ms. W.606, fol. 354b | by Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts
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Illuminated Manuscript, Five poems (quintet), Alexander the Great and his men watch naked girls swim in the Sea of China, Walters Art Museum Ms. W.606, fol. 354b

This is an illuminated and illustrated Khamsah (quintet) by Niẓāmī Ganjavī (d. 605 AH / 1209 CE), copied by Muḥammad Mūsá al-Mudhahhib ('the Limner') in Safavid Iran in 924 AH / 1518 CE. The manuscript opens with a double-page illustration (fols. 1b-2a), which is followed by a double-page illumination (fols. 2b-3a). In total, there are six Arabic colophons, one at the end of each of the first four poems and two for the two parts of the final poem (Kitāb-i Sharafnāmah-i Iskandarī and Kitāb-i Iqbālnāmah). The dates of these colophons indicate that the various poems were not executed consecutively. The writing of the text extended over a period of approximately three months, 6 Dhū al-Ḥijjah 923 AH / 1517 CE to 7 Rabīʿ I 924 AH / 1518 CE. The text is written in black nastaʿlīq script with blue subject/section headings. In addition to illuminated titlepieces and headpieces, there are twenty-six illustrations. The binding is not original to the manuscript.

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Taken on May 24, 2011