Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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"Bahram Chubina Slays the Lion-Ape", Folio 715v from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp

Author:
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Artist:
Painting attributed to Mir Musavvir (active 1525–60)
Artist:
Painting attributed to Qasim ibn 'Ali (active ca. 1525–60)
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. 11 1/16 in. (28.1 cm) W. 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm) Entire Page: H. 18 1/2 in. (47 cm) W. 11 3/16 in. (28.4 cm) Mat: H. 22 in. (55.9 cm) W. 16 in. (40.6 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Gift of Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1970
Accession Number:
1970.301.74
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 462
To thank the Khaqan of Chin for granting him safe haven, Bahram Chubina resolved to rid his host’s land of Kappi the lion-ape, a ferocious creature that had devoured the Khaqan’s daughter. Mir Musavvir delighted in the depiction of the red- and green-eyed monster, rendering every detail of its scaly skin and bloody wounds with fastidious care. The bystanders raise fingers to their lips in astonishment as Bahram Chubina delivers the coup de grace.
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.

Cambridge, MA. Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museums. "Wonders of the Age: Masterpieces of Early Safavid Painting," March 29, 1980–May 18, 1980, no. 37.

Mohl, Jules, ed. Le Livre des Rois. Vol. I. Paris, 1876. pp. 166-169.

Welch, Stuart Cary. A King's Book of Kings: the Shah-nameh of Shah Tahmasp. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. p. 197.

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. 37, pp. 112-113, ill. p. 113 (color).

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. 256 (b/w).

Canby, Sheila R. "The Persian Book of Kings." In The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. Madrid, 2011. p. 276, ill. (color).

Canby, Sheila R. The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp: The Persian Book of Kings. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014. pp. 318, 329, ill. fol. 715v, full-page color ill. p. 318; detail p. 329.



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