"The Four Knights of Kai Khusrau in the Mountains", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings)
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn `Ali ibn (?) Husaini, known as al-Mausili
Commissioned by al-Hasan Qawam al-Daula wa'l-Din (ca. 1303–57)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
A.H. 741/A.D. 1341
Made in Iran, Shiraz
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Page: H. 14 1/2 in. (36.8 cm)
W. 11 5/16 in. (28.7 cm)
Painting: H. 6 3/8 in. (16.2 cm)
W. 9 5/16 in. (23.6 cm)
Mat: H. 22 in. (55.9 cm)
W. 16 in. (40.6 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1936
Not on view
One of the stories of the Shahnama tells of the Shah Kai Khusrau, riding off into the mountains and disappearing in the snow. When his knights realize he is missing, they set off to find him. As they stop to rest, however, a snowstorm descends and they perish in their sleep. This painting depicts the four companions and their horses amid the mountain peaks, which appear as though in miniature.
[ Hassan Khan Monif, New York, until 1936; sold to MMA]
Museum für Islamische Kunst, Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. "The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the M.M.A.," June 15, 1981–August 8, 1981, no. 21.
"Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York." In The Arts of Islam. Berlin, 1981. no. 21, pp. 72-73, ill. p. 73 (b/w).
Swietochowski, Marie, Stefano Carboni, Tomoko Masuya, and Alexander H. Morton. "Persian Painting of the 1330s and 1340s." In Illustrated Poetry and Epic Images. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994. p. 86, ill. fig. 27 (b/w).