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"Siyavush Stands Accused by Sudaba before Kai Kavus", Folio 163v from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp

Author:
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Artist:
Painting attributed to 'Abd al-Vahhab
Workshop director:
Mir Musavvir (active 1525–60)
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
ca. 1530–35
Geography:
Iran, Tabriz
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Painting: H. 11 x W. 7 3/8 in. (H. 27.9 x W. 18.7 cm) Entire Page: H. 18 5/8 x W. 12 5/8 in. (H. 47.3 x W. 32.1 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Gift of Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1970
Accession Number:
1970.301.23
Not on view
Kai Kavus marries a second wife, a Turanian princess, who gives birth to a son, Siyavush. Because the boy has an ill-omened horoscope, Kai Kavus sends him to be reared by Rustam in Zabulistan, but when he comes of age, he returns to his father's court. Soon afterward his mother dies, and Kai Kavus recommends that Siyavush seek solace with his first wife, Sudaba. She falls in love with Siyavush, and when he spurns her advances, she claims that he tried to rape her. Kai Kavus questions his wife and son and determines the innocence of Siyavush, but decides the matter should be kept secret.
Shah Tahmasp, Iran (until 1568; gifted to Selim II); Sultan Selim II, Istanbul (from 1568); Sultan Selim III, Istanbul (by 1800); Baron Edmond de Rothschild, Paris (by 1903–d. 1934); his son, Baron Maurice de Rothschild, Paris and Pregny, near Geneva (by 1955–d. 1957); [ Stiebel Ltd., New York, until 1959; sold to Houghton]; Arthur A. Houghton Jr., New York (1959–70; gifted to MMA)
"The Houghton Shah-nameh Miniatures." In Tales from a King's Book of Kings. Corning, NY: Corning Museum of Glass, 1973. no. 16, p. 31.

Levy, Ruben, ed. The Epic of the Kings : Shah-nama, the National Epic of Persia, by Ferdowski. UNESCO collection of representative works: Persian heritage series; [no. 3]. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1967. pp. 83-88.

Welch, Stuart Cary. A King's Book of Kings: the Shah-nameh of Shah Tahmasp. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. p. 192.

Dickson, Martin, and Stuart Cary Welch. The Houghton Shahnameh. Vol. vols. I & II. Cambridge, Mass. and London, England: Harvard University Press, 1981. vol. II, ill. pl. 105 (b/w).

Canby, Sheila R. "The Persian Book of Kings." In The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. Madrid, 2011. p. 125, ill. (color), folio 163v.

Canby, Sheila R. "The Persian Book of Kings." In The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. New York, 2014. pp. 167, 332, ill. fol. 163v, full-page color ill. p. 167; detail p. 332.



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