State Library of Victoria \ Exhibitions \ Love and devotion
Skip to main content
Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

The dream garden

The dream garden of the great Persian poets

Illustration attributed to Qasim ʿAli from a manuscript of Navaʾi, Sadd-i Iskandar (Wall of Alexander), dated AH 890 (1485–86 AD)

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, MS. Elliott 339, fol. 95v

This masterful illustration from Navaʾi’s Turkish-language version of Nizami’s Alexander narrative conveys a dreamlike vision of revered Persian poets. Nizami is shown seated in a scholar’s white turban and with a long beard, his scribe’s tools in front of him. He welcomes Jami, who is kneeling, and introducing Navaʾi, who is respectfully covering his hands with the sleeves of his green robe.

Apart from Jami and Navaʾi, the poets depicted are the spirits or ghosts of great writers of the past. The whole scene is set at night with a deep lapis-lazuli sky pierced by a crescent moon, shining directly on the figure of Nizami.

Love & devotion in the UK

The Bodleian Libraries is showing its own presentation of the Love and devotion exhibition at the Exhibition Room, Bodleian Library, in Oxford, England, between 29 November 2012 and 28 April 2013.

Learn more about how you can visit this exhibition on the Bodleian Libraries website.


Love and devotion: Persian Cultural Crossroads

This two-day conference held in April 2012 featured distinguished international guests and Australian specialists exploring cultural convergences in literature, the arts and architecture, history and philosophy within Persia's cultural sphere and Europe, from the 11th century to the present day.

For information on keynote speakers & topics discussed, visit our conference page

Visit the exhibition

The Love and devotion exhibition took place from 9 March to 1 July 2012. In-depth information about the exhibits and themes can be found on this website.

State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street,
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Tel +61 3 8664 7000