"Buzurjmihr Appears at Nushirvan's Fifth Assembly", Folio 622r from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Painting attributed to Muzaffar 'Ali (active late 1520s–70s; d. ca. 1576)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Made in Iran, Tabriz
Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper
Painting: H. 8 11/16 x W. 8 11/16 in. (H. 22.1 x W. 22.1 cm)
Entire Page: H. 18 5/8 x W. 12 1/2 in. (H. 47.3 x W. 31.8 cm)
Gift of Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1970
Not on view
Shah Nushirvan became impressed with Buzurgmihr’s insights when he first encountered the sage as a child. By the time he was old enough to participate in a series of assemblies of wise men, such as the scene here, Nushirvan depended on Buzurgmihr more than any other counselor. Here, Muzaffar 'Ali, a versatile painter from the younger generation at the court workshop, has chosen a traditional composition, with the throne dominating the center and the figures symmetrically arranged.
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.
Mohl, Jules, ed. Le Livre des Rois. Vol. I. Paris, 1876. pp. 219-222.
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. 240 (b/w).
Canby, Sheila R. "The Persian Book of Kings." In The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. Madrid, 2011. p. 260, ill. (color).
Canby, Sheila R. The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp: The Persian Book of Kings. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014. pp. 302, 326, ill. fol. 622r, full-page color ill. p. 302; detail p. 326.