"Sam Comes to Inspect Rustam", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings)
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Iran, probably Isfahan
Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
Page: 8 x 5 1/8 in. (20.3 x 13 cm)
Painting: 1 15/16 x 4 in. (5 x 10.1 cm)
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Not on view
Rustam, the future warrior hero of Iran, was such a huge baby that he could only be born by Caesarian section. Here, the noble Sam has come to inspect his grandson, already, though a child, reputed to resemble a lion in courage and daring. Rustam has been seated on an elephant for the occasion, dressed as the warrior he is to become. The artist has mistakenly given him a beard, apparently forgetting his tender age in this scene.
Ph. Walter Schulz, Leipzig, Germany (by 1914); Professor O. Moll, Düsseldorf, Germany ; Monroe C. Gutman, New York (by 1929–d. 1974; bequeathed to MMA)
Swietochowski, Marie, Stefano Carboni, Tomoko Masuya, and Alexander H. Morton. "Persian Painting of the 1330s and 1340s." In Illustrated Poetry and Epic Images. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994. no. 10, p. 85, ill. pl. 10 (b/w).