Incorrect Username, Email, or Password
This object does not yet have a description.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
An Image of Majnun with Verses from the Poem Layla va Majnun
Work Type
painting with calligraphy
19th century
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran
Qajar period
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Folio: 28.5 x 20 cm (11 1/4 x 7 7/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: Above the figures head is written in Persian “taswir-i majnun,” or “Image of Majnun.” The figure is surrounded by text blocks containing 20 lines of Persian poetry from various sources, all referencing the story of Layla and Majnun.


Recorded Ownership History
Stuart Cary Welch, Jr. Collection, New Hampshire (by 1969-2011), sold; through [Sotheby’s, London, 5/31/2011, lot 57]; to Harvard Art Museums, 2011.

Note: Prior to being returned to the Welch family in 2009, this object had been on loan to the Harvard Art Museums beginning on April 1, 1969 as TL17443.36, while in the Collection of the late Stuart Cary Welch Jr.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Richard Norton Memorial Fund
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.


The unmistakable image of Majnun—dreamy-eyed but skeletal—marks the vertical axis of this work. The figure is boxed in by 20 lines of Persian poetry. The rubric “Image of Majnun” is written in Persian above his head, and a small gazelle reposes below his feet. In his hands he holds an open copy of the Qur’an. A blue floral border frames the work.

Exhibition History

  • Saints, Shrines and Pilgrimages, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 04/06/1991 - 06/09/1991
  • On the Path of Madness: Representations of Majnun in Persian, Turkish, and Indian Painting, Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 09/27/2007 - 03/23/2008

Verification Level

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at