"Kai Khusrau Wrestles with Shida", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings)
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Attributed to Iran, probably Isfahan
Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
Page: 8 x 5 1/4 in. (20.3 x 13.3 cm)
Painting: 1 7/8 x 4 1/4 in. (4.8 x 10.8 cm)
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Not on view
A wrestling match was often the final phase of single combat encounters. In this case, the prince gambled that the reigning Shah of Iran would not risk the indignity of wrestling on foot. Kai Khusrau, however, thinking of the loss of Iranian warriors at the hands of Shida, felt compelled to dash him to the ground, ending his life. The two hind legs and tail of the horse at right were probably added by a later hand.
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. 26.
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. Illustrated Poetry and Epic Images:Persian Painting of the 1330s and 1340s. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994. no. 26, p. 102, ill. pl. 26 (color).