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Darius meets shepherds. Saadi. Bustan. The Metropolitan Museum, New York. 11.134.2. f.19b. 1522-1523. Bukhara.
DARIUS MEETS SHEPHERDS, Saadi. Bustan


The image of a brave knight or a tsar was interpreted by many Oriental poets such as Nizami, Jami, Navoi. Bustan of Saadi there is like an instruction to a tsar. One of the parable tells about tsar Darius who lost his way during the hunting. When he met shepherds he thought they were enemies and wanted to shoot from a bow. He was stopped by an old shepherd who told him that a tsar must know his own people. In shepherds speech there is an instruction to the tsar: never make up his mind without careful examination of the question, because in this case mans life depends on his decision.
This miniature belongs to Herat painting school. In comparison with Bekhzads miniature there are some changes in this painting caused by influence of Maverannakhr style. First of all, there is a great impression of local Bedouin life. Against the background there is a scene with a mother and her son. It is done very thoroughly. All faces of the people and their dresses, caps and belts mark exact time period.
Painting composition consists of many scenes but rhythm and colour choice make it absolutely complete. The plot of this story is poeticized a bit. The artist of this miniature is very creative and talented.