"Yazdigird II Accedes to the Throne", Folio 592r 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
Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper
Painting: H. 7 1/8 x W. 6 3/4 in. (H. 18.1 x W. 17.2 cm)
Entire Page: H. 18 11/16 x W. 12 1/2 in. (H. 47.5 x W. 31.8 cm)
Gift of Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1970
Not on view
The aged shah Bahram Gur named his son Yazdigird II as his successor. Upon the death of his father, Yazdigird called his noblemen together and, seated on the Golden Throne of Iran, exhorted them to act with justice, humanity, and wisdom. The simplicity of this composition, with the king enthroned between two evenly balanced groups of courtiers, is typical of the later phases of production of the Shahnama and of the work of second-generation artists such as Bashdan Qara.
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. 65-67.
"The Houghton Shah-nameh Miniatures." In Tales from a King's Book of Kings. Corning, NY: Corning Museum of Glass, 1973. no. 50, p. 57.
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.
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. 235 (b/w).
Canby, Sheila R. "The Persian Book of Kings." In The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. Madrid, 2011. p. 255, ill. (color).
Canby, Sheila R. "The Persian Book of Kings." In The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. New York, 2014. pp. 297, 333, ill. fol. 592r, full-page color ill. p. 297; detail p. 333.