The artist Riza‑yi ‘Abbasi revolutionised Persian painting and drawing with his inventive use of calligraphic line and unusual palette. He painted The Lovers toward the end of a long, successful career at the Safavid court. The subject of a couple

entwined reflects a newly relaxed attitude to sensuality introduced in the reign of Shah Safi. Here the figures are inextricably bound together, merged volumes confined within one outline.

[Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York – Opaque watercolour, ink, and gold on paper, 17.5 x 11.1 cm].

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