Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

"Gustaham Slays Lahhak and Farshidvard", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings)

Author:
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
ca. 1330–40
Geography:
Iran, probably Isfahan
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
Dimensions:
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)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Accession Number:
1974.290.19
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)
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. 25, p. 101, ill. (b/w).



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