Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

"Isfandiyar's Third Course: He Slays a Dragon", 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 1/8 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)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Accession Number:
1974.290.26
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)
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. "Persian Painting of the 1330s and 1340s." In Illustrated Poetry and Epic Images. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994. no. 32, pp. 109-110, ill. p. 109 (color), verso of 1974.290.25.



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