Poetry and Prayer: Islamic Manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum

Poetry and Prayer

Islamic Manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum

Poetry Ritual Prayer Recitation Calligraphy Personal Piety Digital Books

W.627: Mihr and Mushtari

This manuscript is an illustrated copy of the well-known poem recounting the platonic love story between Mihr ('Sun'), the son of Shāhpūr, and his vizier's son Mushtarī ('Jupiter'). The story of 90 chapters was composed by Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ‘Aṣṣār Tabrīzī (d. 784 AH / 1382 CE). The present copy was written in nasta‘līq script by Murshid al-Kātib in 881 AH / 1476 CE. Considering the number of surviving manuscripts in which this calligrapher’s name is found, it seems he was particularly prolific. The present codex is illustrated by nine paintings. The gilded leather binding with doublures of red leather decorated with filigree is contemporary with the fifteenth-century text.







Folio 110a

Folio from an Islamic Manuscript

Driven by deep affection, Mihr sails to India in search of Mushtarī.

Folio 79b

Folio from an Islamic Manuscript

Mushtarī ('Jupiter'), who is the son of the vizier, kneels at the feet of Mihr ('Sun'), the son of King Shāhpūr.

Folio 17b

Folio from an Islamic Manuscript

King Shāhpūr and his Vizier Dastūr are depicted kissing the hand and foot of a hermit. Such gestures show deep respect for the wise man who has renounced the material world. The visitation of hermits by rulers is a common theme in Islamic art.