"The Besotted Iranian Camp Attacked by Night", Folio 241r from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Painting attributed to Qadimi (active ca. 1525–65)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper
Painting: H. 11 1/8 x W. 9 1/8 in. (H. 28.2 x W. 23.2 cm)
Entire Page: H. 18 11/16 x W. 12 5/8 in. (H. 47.5 x W. 32.1 cm)
Gift of Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1970
Not on view
Following a rout at the hands of the Iranians, the army of Turan regrouped and planned its attack. Before the battle could begin, the Turanians learned that the whole Iranian army was in its cups, drunkenly celebrating its victory. Taking the Iranians by surprise, the Turanians attacked their encampment, slaughtering the besotted soldiers as the few survivors fled in disarray. The artist Qadimi has captured the chaos of the melee with Iranians trapped amidst tents and terrified horses as the Turanians attack them with swords, daggers, and spears.
Inscription: In Persian in nasta'liq scrit-- verses from the Shāhnma of Ferdowsī , story گفتار اندرداستان فرود سیاوش(Story of the Furud Siyavash)
(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, 1992, vol.3, p.74-75.
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.
Cambridge, MA. Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museums. "Wonders of the Age: Masterpieces of Early Safavid Painting," March 29, 1980–May 18, 1980.
Mohl, Jules, ed. Le Livre des Rois. Vol. I. Paris, 1876. pp. 527-531.
Welch, Stuart Cary. A King's Book of Kings: the Shah-nameh of Shah Tahmasp. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. pp. 157-159, ill. pp. 156, 158-159, 241r (color, b/w).
Welch, Stuart Cary, Sheila R. Canby, and Norah M. Titley. "Masterpieces of Early Safavid Painting, 1501–1576." In Wonders of the Age. Cambridge, MA: Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museums, 1979. no. 23, pp. 82-83, ill. p. 82 (b/w).
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. 145 (b/w).
Canby, Sheila R. "The Persian Book of Kings." In The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. Madrid, 2011. p. 165, ill. (color), folio 241r.
Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 138D, pp. 7, 172, 202-208, ill. p. 205 (color).
Canby, Sheila R. "The Persian Book of Kings." In The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. New York, 2014. p. 207, ill. fol. 241r, full-page color ill.