"Bizhan Slaughters the Wild Boars of Irman", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdausi
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Iran, probably Isfahan
Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
Painting: H. 1 5/8 in. (4.2 cm)
W. 4 3/16 in. (10.7 cm)
Page: H. 8 1/16 in. (20.5 cm)
W. 5 5/16 in. (13.5 cm)
Mat: H. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm)
W. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Not on view
The people of Irman (Armenia) complained to the shah about a plague of ferocious and destructive wild boars. Bizhan, an impetuous young hero, volunteered to rid the forest of them. Here, the artist has departed from the text of the poem by showing Bizhan on foot (forgetting, however, that the young man should not have facial hair), with the result of enhancing the danger and drama of the encounter.
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. 24, p. 100, ill. (color).
Sims, Eleanor, B. Marshak, and Ernst J. Grube. "Persian Painting and its Sources." In Peerless Images. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002. no. 136, p. 224, ill. (color).