Wednesday, 2 September 2015

"In a Persian Garden"

The popular song cycle "In a Persian Garden" was composed by Liza Lehmann in 1896, taking lyrics from Edward Fitzgerald's translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
"Paradise" is derived from the Old Iranian word "pairidaeza", meaning park or enclosure, a 'garden oasis' to be enjoyed, as in this Safavid miniature, alone:

The hoopoe brings King Solomon's message to Bilqis, Queen of Sheba  
Iran, c.1590-1600  © Trustees of the British Museum

or in these Iranian tile panels, in company:

Wall panels from the royal garden pavilions of the Chahar Bagh, Isfahan  1600-1625
(the men with hats are probably European merchants) 
© Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

A contemporary large tile panel can be seen in the Victoria and Albert Museum, showing similar interchangeable figures and patterns and Chinese derived cloud border.

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