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The poet Hafiz and a companion

The poet Hafiz and a companion

From a manuscript of a work attributed to Gazurgahi, Majalis al-╩┐Ushshaq (Meetings of lovers), dated AH 959 (1552 AD)

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, MS Ouseley Add 24, fol 96v

This image is taken from the Majalis al-╩┐Ushshaq (Meetings of lovers), a work that originated at the late-15th-century Timurid court of Sultan Husayn in Herat, eastern Iran.

The text examines mystical love, and personal and spiritual transformation resulting from earthly attachment evolving into love of the Divine. The work includes accounts of alleged episodes from the worldly love of 76 famous mystics, legendary heroes and royal figures.

This copy is one of many made in the artisan workshops of Shiraz during the 16th century to meet commercial demand outside Iran, especially in Ottoman Turkey.