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Majnun among the animals

Majnun among the animals

Illustration probably painted early 17th century in Mughal India from a manuscript of Nizami, Layla u Majnun, dated AH 980 (1572–73 AD), Samarqand

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, MS Douce 348, fol 42r

Majnun seated among the wild animals is one of the most frequently illustrated episodes from Nizami’s Layla u Majnun. Teams of craftsmen worked together to produce countless manuscripts in workshops attached to either various princely courts or to more commercial enterprises catering for a wealthy elite. Sometimes books were begun in one workshop and finished in another, where illustrators filled in sections allocated by the scribes who copied the text.

This manuscript was copied in Samarqand, but was probably illustrated some years later in Mughal India.