"Kai Khusrau is Discovered by Giv", Folio 210v from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Painting attributed to Qadimi (active ca. 1525–65) , and 'Abd al-Vahhab
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Made in Iran, Tabriz
Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper
Painting: H. 11 1/8 in. (28.3 cm)
W. 7 7/16 in. (18.9 cm)
Page: H. 18 9/16 in. (47.1 cm)
W. 12 1/8 in. (30.8 cm)
Mat: H. 22 in. (55.9 cm)
W. 16 in. (40.6 cm)
Gift of Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1970
Not on view
After a seven‑year search for the future shah, the persistent Iranian knight Giv finally discovered the prince Kai Khusrau. Faithful to the story, the painting features an idyllic spring landscape, the remoteness of which is indicated by the barren hill in the background. The black pool next to Kai Khusrau and the stream flowing from it would have originally been silver, which has now tarnished.
Inscription: In Persian in nasta’liq script-- verses from the Shāhnma of Ferdowsī , story گفتار اندر باز یافتن گیو گودرز کیخسرو را (story of Giv-i Gudarz finding Kaykhusrau).
(Abu’l-Qasim Ferdowsi,The Shāhnāmeh (The Book of Kings), ed, Djalal Khalqi- Muṭlagh, Mazda publishers in association with Bibliotheca Persica, Costa Mesa, California and New York, 1990, vol.2, p.422-23).
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)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A King's Book of Kings: Persian Miniatures from Shah Tahmasp's Shahnama of 1528," May 4, 1972–December 31, 1972, no catalog.
Welch, Stuart Cary. A King's Book of Kings: the Shah-nameh of Shah Tahmasp. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. p. 193.
Ettinghausen, Richard. "Islamic Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 33, no. 1 (Spring 1975). detail, inside front cover.
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. 129 (b/w).
Canby, Sheila R. "The Persian Book of Kings." In The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. Madrid, 2011. p. 149, ill. (color), folio 210v.
Canby, Sheila R. The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp: The Persian Book of Kings. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014. pp. 191, 327, 329, ill. fol. 210v, full-page color ill. p. 191; detail pp. 327, 329.