"Isfandiyar's Third Course: He Slays a Dragon", 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 1/8 x 5 1/4 in. (20.6 x 13.4 cm)
Painting: 1 5/8 x 4 3/16 in. (4.2 x 10.6 cm)
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Not on view
The painting, showing Isfandiyar about to kill a dragon with bow and arrow in a conventional man-against-beast pose, depicts the last part of this episode in which the hero first weakens the animal with swords sticking out of a carriage he had built. It is a true fusion of influences: the mountain peaks and red background point to Injuid painting, while the composition and twisted body of the dragon owe much to Ilkhanid models.
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. 32.
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. 32, pp. 109-110, ill. p. 109 (color), verso of 1974.290.25.