Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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"Nushirvan Greets the Khaqan's Daughter", Folio 633v from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp

Author:
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Artist:
Painting attributed to Dust Muhammad
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
ca. 1530–35
Geography:
Made in Iran, Tabriz
Medium:
Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Painting: H. 7 3/8 x W. 7 in. (H. 18.7 x W. 17.8 cm) Entire Page: H. 18 5/8 x W. 12 7/16 in. (H. 47.3 x W. 31.6 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Gift of Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1970
Accession Number:
1970.301.70
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 462
When the Khaqan of Chin became aware of the greatness and power of the Iranian shah, he determined to form an alliance and offered one of his daughters in marriage to cement it. Nushirvan accepted the offer, but sent a wise envoy to choose the best of the Khaqan’s five daughters. Four were descended from slaves, while the mother of the fifth was a princess. This daughter was the Khaqan’s favorite and he did not wish to lose her. Despite the attempt by the girl’s mother to dress her poorly, her superior breeding and beauty were obvious and soon she left for Iran, where Nushirvan was overcome with astonishment at her loveliness. The distinctive style of Dust Muhammad, a second-generation Shahnama artist, is evident in the elongated silhouettes of the figures and the flattened profile of the servant in the foreground.
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)
Cambridge, MA. Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museums. "Wonders of the Age: Masterpieces of Early Safavid Painting," March 29, 1980–May 18, 1980, no. 34.

Levy, Ruben, ed. The Epic of the Kings : Shah-nama, the National Epic of Persia, by Ferdowski. UNESCO collection of representative works: Persian heritage series; [no. 3]. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1967. pp. 326-327.

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.

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. 34, pp. 106-107, ill. p. 107 (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. 242 (b/w).

Canby, Sheila R. "The Persian Book of Kings." In The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. Madrid, 2011. p. 262, ill. (color).

Canby, Sheila R. The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp: The Persian Book of Kings. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014. pp. 304, 326, 330, ill. fol. 633v, full-page color ill. p. 304; detail pp. 326, 330.



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