AKM284.13, Zulaykha Touches Yusuf’s Skirt, Front

© The Aga Khan Museum

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On Display
Zulaykha Touches Yusuf’s Skirt
Folio from the manuscript of Kulliyat (Collected Works) of Sa‘di (d. 1292)
  • Accession Number:AKM284.13
  • Place:Agra, India
  • Dimensions:41.8 x 26.2 cm
  • Date:ca. 1604
  • Materials and Technique:opaque watercolour, ink, and gold on paper
  • Sa‘di, a renowned figure in classical Persian literature, is recognized for his poetry as well as his prose texts. Born in Shiraz, Iran, the poet’s takhallus (signature) as Sa‘di is a reflection of his devotion to Sa‘d b. Zangi (r. 1231–60), ruler of Fars.

Further Reading


In this folio, Zulaykha and Yusuf, whose love would be immortalized by more than a dozen Persian poets, sit together in an inner room of a busy palace with an idol in a wall niche. When illustrating interior scenes, it was common for Mughal artists to show various architectural layers in a vertical format to give the illusion of depth. This approach allows the viewer to see the outside of the palace complex and parts of its interior at the same time. 


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