"Gustaham Slays Lahhak and Farshidvard", 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 1/16 x 5 1/4 in. (20.5 x 13.3 cm)
Painting: 1 13/16 x 4 3/16 in. (4.6 x 10.6 cm)
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Not on view
Piran, the wise old commander-in-chief of the Turanians, was slain. He had advised his brothers that his army had been promised quarter in the event of his death but that the Turanian nobles would be in mortal danger. Therefore, the Turanian brothers Lahhak and Farshidvard fled toward Turan, pursued by the Iranian noble Gustaham. Farshidvard was killed by Gustaham's sword and Lahhak frenzied with grief, let loose his arrows. Both cavaliers were wounded, but Gustaham charged and cut off his opponent's head, thus ending a royal line. The artist has depicted a full-fledged battle scene, with all its action and confusion, even though the poem calls for only three combatants.
Ph. Walter Schulz, New York (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. 25.
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. 25, p. 101, ill. (b/w).