"Isfandiyar's Fifth Course: He Slays the Simurgh", 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: 7 13/16 x 5 3/8 in. (19.8 x 13.6 cm)
Painting: 1 7/8 x 4 1/8 in. (4.8 x 10.4 cm)
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Not on view
The Simurgh in this miniature is not the benevolent guardian of the family of Zal and Rustam, but is based on the tradition of the Rukh - a creature of great strength and ferocity. This Simurgh is not yet fully patterned on the Chinese phoenix of some thirty-five years earlier, which comes from a more sophisticated cultural center, but is far more graceful than the rooster/parrot type of Simurgh found elsewhere in the present manuscript.
Ph. Walter Schulz, Leipzig, Germany (by 1914); Professor O. Moll, Düsseldorf, Germany ; Monroe C. Gutman, New York (by 1929–d. 1974; bequeathed to MMA)
Museum für Islamische Kunst, Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. "The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the M.M.A.," June 15, 1981–August 8, 1981, no. 119.
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. 34.
"Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York." In The Arts of Islam. Berlin, 1981. no. 119, pp. 282-283, ill. p. 283 (b/w).
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. 34, pp. 112-113, ill. p. 112 (color).