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"Kai Kavus Upbraids Siyavush in a Letter", Folio 174r 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. 1525–30
Geography:
Iran, Tabriz
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Painting: H. 11 in. (28 cm) W. 7 3/16 in. (18.3 cm) Page: H. 18 5/8 in .(47.3 cm) W. 11 11/16 in. (29.7 cm) Mat: H. 22 in. (55.9 cm) W. 16 in. (40.6 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Gift of Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1970
Accession Number:
1970.301.25
Not on view
When Rustam brings news of the peace to Kai Kavus, the shah refuses to believe the gesture is in good faith. He relieves Rustam of his command of the army and appoints Tus in his place. Kai Kavus drafts a furious letter to Siyavush, accusing his son of laziness and of scheming with Rustam to overthrow him. He urges Siyavush to recommence war with Turan. Rustam returns to Zabulistan washing his hands of Kai Kavus.
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. 21, p. 35.

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. 93-97.

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. 111 (b/w).

Canby, Sheila R. "The Persian Book of Kings." In The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. Madrid, 2011. p. 131, ill. (color), folio 174r.

Canby, Sheila R. "The Persian Book of Kings." In The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. New York, 2014. p. 173, ill. fol. 174r.



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