This complete and finely calligraphed illuminated and illustrated copy of the Baharistan
or Spring Garden
by Janri was created in 1551 for Sultan 'Abd al-'Aziz, Khan of Bukhara. The illuminated opening pages are typical of the ornate chapter headings, embellished script, and marginal decorations that frequently graced the Koran as well as literary classics. These confronting pages consistently of floral arabesque framing and ornate script demonstrated a highly developed sense of design and an extraordinary virtuosity in the application of colors and gold leaf.
The double-page illustration, while tied to the text, serves as the physical setting for the encounter of Alexander the Great with a philosopher who delivers much of the advice to rulers which is the principal concern of this section of the Baharistan. The rich colors and firm draftsmanship are characteristic of the Bakhara school at its best, and the composition is signed by the artist who executed it, Mahmud al-Muzahhib: Mahmud "the gilder."