"Caesar Gives his Daughter Katayun to Gushtasp", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdausi
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Attributed to Iran, probably Isfahan
Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
Painting: H. 1 15/16 in. (4.9 cm)
W. 4 3/16 in. (10.6 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
In the court of Rum (the Roman Empire) it was customary for a princess to select her husband from among the assembled nobles. Katayun chose Gushtasp, whom she had seen in a dream. Her father Caesar was dismayed, not realizing that Gushtasp was actually a Persian prince since he was traveling incognito. At the right a wise counselor, identifiable by his turban, reassures Caesar but the scene is dominated by the charmingly posed princess telling her happy news to a lady-in-waiting as a doorkeeper eavesdrops.
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. 28.
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. 28, pp. 104-105, ill. pl. 28 (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. 125, p. 214, ill. (color).