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Identification and Creation
Object Number
Bifolio from a manuscript of Yusuf va Zulaykha by Jami
Work Type
manuscript folio
16th-17th century
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran or Central Asia
Safavid period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Ink, colors, and gold on paper
22.2 x 14 cm (8 3/4 x 5 1/2 in.)
Edwin Binney, 3rd, California (1979-1986), bequest; to the Harvard Art Museums, 2012.

Stored at the San Diego Museum of Art from some time before 1986 until 1991, then at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from 1991-2011.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Edwin Binney, 3rd Collection of Turkish Art at the Harvard Art Museums
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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This is a bifolio from a manuscript of Yusuf and Zulaykha of Jami, the renowned classical Persian poet (1414-1492). The bifolio consists of gold-sprayed cream- colored paper for text panels which are set in large pinkish-red margins. The seams are concealed under several colored rulings. The text is copied in 12 lines and two columns in nastaliq script in black ink. The middle of the two columns is illuminated with arabesques on a gold ground. There is also a simple framing line towards the edge of the red margin.

The verses on the bifolio belong to the end of Jami's poem where Zulaykha dies after Yusuf’s death and the epilogue starts. The right side of the bifolio is not contiguous with the left side of the bifolio. There are 96 couplets missing. Since each page normally has 12 couplets, there would be eight pages (four folios or two bifolios) required to fill the gap which would have nested between the right and left side of the bifolio.

This bifolio appears to have come from a manuscript that is widely dispersed. Three other folios are found in Harvard Art Museums' collection (1936.150.8.1, 1936.150.8.2, 1936.150.8.3). Two more folios are at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (22.799a and 22.799b). Another folio is in the collection of Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Florence.

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at