Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Layla visits Majnun among the animals

  • Description

    In versions by the Persian poets Nizami and Amir Khusrau of Delhi, the old Arab tale of the separated lovers Layla and Majnun became a favourite subject of Mughal period painting. The young lovers first meet as children. Later, when prevented from seeing Layla by her family, the distracted Majnun (‘Mad’, ‘Possessed by jinn’) becomes a solitary wanderer in the wilderness. Chanting poems of love for Layla, he keeps company with the wild animals, holding court among them like a human king. In this later scene from the story, the now-married Layla pays a visit to Majnun in the wilderness. She holds a volume, perhaps of his verses, and her riding-camel rests nearby. The emaciated Majnun receives her courteously, resting against a gruff-looking lion as his throne cushion.

  • Details

    Layla and Majnun
    Associated place
    AsiaIndia north India (place of creation)
    late 18th century
    Material and technique
    grisaille brush drawing with slight colour on paper
    22.5 x 32.8 cm (height x width)
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    Credit line
    Presented by the Simon Digby Memorial Charity, 2012.
    Accession no.

Past Exhibition

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    • currently in research collection

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