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Gulshan-i 'Ishq (Rose Garden of Love)

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Deccan Region, India, Asia
Possibly made in Hyderabad, Telangana, India, Asia


Opaque watercolor, gold, and ink on paper; leather binding with embossed gilding

14 × 10 × 2 3/8 inches (35.6 × 25.4 × 6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

* Gallery 328, Asian Art, third floor (Shah Gallery)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Philip S. Collins Collection, gift of Mrs. Philip S. Collins in memory of her husband, 1945

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The Gulshan-i Ishq was written in 1657–58 by Nusrati, court poet to Sultan Ali Adil Shah II of Bijapur. The poem’s more than 4,500 double verses in Deccani Urdu, the language of the Muslim elite in South-Central India, are written in elegant Persian naskh script. The principal story—one of connection, separation, longing, and final union of lovers—is borrowed from a North Indian Hindu love story and recast in mystical Sufi garb, with the lovers standing as a metaphor for the soul’s relationship to the divine. Refined Persian literary devices are infused with the colorful Indian narrative. This superb, complete manuscript contains over ninety illustrations.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.