At the instigation of an evil div, the shah Kai Kavus foolishly tried to fly up to heaven by tying eagles to his throne and legs of lamb above them, so that in striving to reach the meat the eagles would lift his conveyance skyward. When the eagles eventually tired, all plummeted to earth. The ascent is depicted in every known illustration of the episode except this one. Here the ignominious return to earth is most charmingly presented, with a bed of flowers to soften the shah's landing.
Ph. Walter Schulz, Leipzig, Germany (by 1914); Professor O. Moll, Düsseldorf, Germany ; Monroe C. Gutman, New York (by 1929–d. 1974; bequeathed to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Illustrated Poetry and Epic Images: Persian Painting of the 1330s and 1340s," February 1, 1994–May 1, 1994, no. 15.
Swietochowski, Marie, and Richard Ettinghausen. "Islamic Painting." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., vol. 36, no. 2 (Autumn 1978). p. 10, ill. p. 10 (color).
Masuya, Tomoko. "The Condition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Small Shahnama and the Reconstruction of its Text." In Poetry and Epic Images, edited by Marie Lukens Swietochowski, and Stefano Carboni. New York, 1994. pp. 129-145.
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. 15, p. 91, ill., frontispiece, pl. 15 (color).