"Bahram Gur Slays the Rhino-Wolf", Folio 586r from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Painting attributed to 'Abd al-'Aziz (active first half 16th century)
Aqa Mirak (active ca. 1525–60)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Made in Iran, Tabriz
Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper
Painting: H. 11 1/4 in. (28.5 cm)
\ W. 7 3/8 in. (18.7 cm)
Entire Page: H. 18 9/16 in. (47.1 cm)
W. 12 7/16 in. (31.6 cm)
Mat: H. 22 in. (55.9 cm)
W. 16 in. (40.6 cm)
Gift of Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1970
Not on view
Shah Shangul asked Bahram to rid the world of a monstrous rhino‑wolf, which tore the hearts from lions and the skin from leopards. Bahram strung up his bow and sped toward the rhino‑wolf, pouring a mighty hail of arrows onto the beast. In this painting, the image of the rhino‑wolf breaks through the rulings of the painting into the margins, lending the composition dynamism and suggesting the extension of the setting beyond the confines of the page.
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. 196.
Ettinghausen, Richard. "Islamic Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 33, no. 1 (Spring 1975). detail.
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. 234 (b/w).
Canby, Sheila R. "The Persian Book of Kings." In The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. Madrid, 2011. p. 254, ill. (color).
Canby, Sheila R. "The Islamic Galleries at The Met." Arts of Asia, Arts of Asia, vol. 42 (September/October 2012). pp. 88-89, ill. fig. 12 (color).
Canby, Sheila R. The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp: The Persian Book of Kings. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014. p. 296, ill. fol. 586r.