"Gustaham Slays Lahhak and Farshidvard", Folio 349v from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Painting attributed to Bashdan Qara (active ca. 1525–35)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Made in Iran, Tabriz
Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper
Painting: H. 6 3/4 x W. 6 7/8 in. (H. 17.2 x W. 17.5 cm)
Entire Page: H. 18 3/4 x W. 12 9/16 in. (H. 47.6 x W. 31.9 cm)
Gift of Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1970
Not on view
Although the commanders have agreed that the victors of the jousts will become the masters of the opposing army, Lahhak and Farshidvard decide to flee. In the Iranian camp Gustaham, who has stayed behind to command the army, volunteers to follow them and bring them to justice. The three meet in a plain, and Gustaham releases a volley of arrows, one of which pierces the skull of Farshidvard. Lahhak now shoots an arrow at Gustaham and hits his mark, but the Iranian draws his sword and stabs Lahhak in the throat.
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)
Mohl, Jules, ed. Le Livre des Rois. Vol. I. Paris, 1876. pp. 485-487.
Welch, Stuart Cary. A King's Book of Kings: the Shah-nameh of Shah Tahmasp. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. p. 194.
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. 184 (b/w).
Canby, Sheila R. "The Persian Book of Kings." In The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. Madrid, 2011. p. 204, ill. (color), folio 349v.
Canby, Sheila R. The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp: The Persian Book of Kings. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014. pp. 246, 328, 330, ill. fol. 349v, full-page color ill. p. 246; detail pp. 328, 330.