"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
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)
"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).
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. 34, pp. 112-113, ill. p. 112 (color).