"Rustam Kills the White Div", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings)
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Northwestern Iran or Baghdad
Ink, opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper
Painting: H. 2 1/16 in. (5.2 cm)
W. 4 11/16 in. (11.9 cm)
Page: H. 9 1/8 in. (23.2 cm)
W. 7 7/16 in. (18.9 cm)
Mat: H. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm)
W. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1969
Not on view
The basic iconography of this popular tale of heroism was developed by the fourteenth century and continues essentially unchanged. A Mongol-featured Rustam wears his familiar tiger skin while his robe beneath and the saddle blanket of his horse Rakhsh show the familiar Mongol peony flowers. Rustam has just cut off one of the powerful div's legs. Another div pokes its head over the top of the cave while Rustam's guide Ulad, tied to a tree, awaits him in this very busy, compact composition from the First Small Shahnama.
Textile Museum, Washington (until 1969; sold to MMA)
Swietochowski, Marie, and Marilyn Jenkins-Madina. Notable Acquisitions 1965-1975 (1965-1975). p. 133, ill. (b/w).
Swietochowski, Marie, and Richard Ettinghausen. "Islamic Painting." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 36, no. 2 (Autumn 1978). pp. 8-9, ill. pp. 8, 9 (b/w).
Simpson, Marianna. "The Illustration of an Epic: The Earliest Shahnama Manuscripts." PhD diss., Garland Publishing, Inc., 1979. p. 370, ill. fig. 27 (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. 89, ill. fig. 28 (b/w).