A page from Khamsa of Nizami - Bahram Gur killing the dragon in the cave

This painting illustrates the opening scene from the Haft Paykar (the Seven Beauties), one of the five tales from the Khamsa of Nizami. This scene depicts the mighty battle between Bahram Gur and the dragon in the dark confines of the cave.The Haft Paykar tells the tale of the legendary Sasanian king Bahram Gur who married the daughters of seven padshah (emperors) of seven different regions and how through their guidance, he learns to be an ideal ruler. The Khamsa of Nizami is a collection of five classical poems by the Azeri poet, Nizami-ye Ganjavi (1141-1209). He is considered one of the greatest romantic epic poets of Persian literature, renowned for his lyrical and sensuous style, and his mastery of the 'masnavi' style (double-rhymed verse).