"Isfandiyar's Fourth Course: He Slays a Sorceress", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdausi
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Iran, probably Isfahan
Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
Page: H. 7 7/8 in. (20 cm)
W. 5 3/8 in. (13.6 cm)
Painting: H. 1 13/16 in. (4.6 cm)
W. 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm)
Mat: H. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm)
W. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
Depictions of the encounter of Isfandiyar and the sorceress customarily show the witch in her true form - as a hideous hag - rather than in the guise of a beautiful maiden as she first appears. In this idyllic scene, set in an oasis in the desert, the hero, who knows her true personality, lures her with the sound of his lute. He will soon offer her wine to get her drunk and strike her with his sword.
Ph. Walter Schulz, Leipzig, Germany (by 1914); Professor O. Moll, Düsseldorf, Germany ; Monroe C. Gutman, New York (by 1929–d. 1974; bequeathed to MMA)
Ettinghausen, Richard. "Islamic Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 33, no. 1 (Spring 1975). ill. p. 13 (color).
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. 33, pp. 110-111, ill. pl. 33 (color).