Khusraw at the castle of Shirin, from a manuscript of the Khusraw and Shirin by Nizami early 15th century Timurid period
The simurgh is depicted in Iranian art as a winged creature in the shape of a bird, gigantic enough to carry off an elephant or a whale. It appears as a kind of peacock with the head of a dog and the claws of a lion; sometimes however also with a human face. The simurgh is inherently benevolent and unambiguously female. This giant birdlike creature is so old that it has seen the world destroyed three times over, and thus possesses the knowledge of all the ages.
Babur was a turkic speaking central asian ruler descended from Timur a Turko-Mongol and Genghis Khan a mongol. Ousted from Central Asia, Babur pushed through the Khyber Pass into northern India from Afghanistan in 1526 forming the Mughal (Mongol) Empire. His son Humayun was driven out into Persia but forged diplomatic ties with the Safavid Courts. Cultural contacts between India and Iran formed an Indo-Persian styled empire after his return in 1555. His son Akbar consolidated the Mughal…
The drawing of cranes in ink on paper may have been done by Mansur, one of the leading artists of the Mughal court in the early 17th century, during the reign of Jahangir (r. 1605-1627). The emperor's memoirs show him to have been keenly interested in all aspects of the natural world. He kept a pair of saras cranes for at least five years, studying them carefully and interspersing his account of the events of courtly life with details about the birds' nesting habits.
The Simorgh restores Zal to Sam Ferdowsi, Shahnameh Timurid: Herat, c.1444 Patron: Mohammad Juki b. Shah Rokh Opaque watercolour, ink and gold on paper London, Royal Asiatic Society, Persian MS 239, fol. 16v
Conference of the Birds - "Katya took Rosa to hear nightingales . . . . Katya's breathing touched her as pine-needles did. All around the two women a kind of piercingly sweet ringing was on the limit of being audible. A new perception was picking up the utmost ring of waves whose center must be unreachable ecstasy. The thrilling of the darkness intensified without coming closer . . . ." - Nadine Gordimer, 'Burger's Daughter'
A woman detained by a kneeling youth | ca. 1590s | Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper; H: 40.6 W: 26.0 cm; Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Title(s): Female dancer turned to right, a handkerchief in each hand, the left arm raised and the right hand resting on her hip Calligrap...
Two youths early 17th century Opaque watercolor and gold on paper H: 40.1 W: 27.1 D: 0.0 cm Iran Purchase--Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler S1986.294 Freer-Sackler | The Smithsonian’s Museums of Asian Art
Late 15th Century Persian The Hoopoe Tells the Other Birds about the Simurgh (full picture) From The Conference of the Birds