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"Rustam Avenges his Own Impending Death", 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 x 5 1/4 in. (20.3 x 13.3 cm) Painting: 1 7/8 x 4 5/16 in. (4.8 x 10.9 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Accession Number:
1974.290.31
Not on view
Rustam's half-brother Shaghad dug a pit, filled it with sharp spikes, and covered it to trap the hero. Observing from behind a tree and exulting when Rustam and his horse fall into the pit and are impaled, Shaghad is killed by the dying hero's last arrow, which is shot with such strength that it pierces the tree. The scene is illustrated in an effective manner, with only Shaghad's head protruding from behind the tree. The mushroomlike rock on the left is a motif from Chinese painting that entered the Ilkhanid repertoire.
Ph. Walter Schulz, Leipzig, Germany (by 1914); Professor O. Moll, Düsseldorf, Germany ; Monroe C. Gutman, New York (by 1929–d. 1974; bequeathed to MMA)
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. 37, pp. 114-115, ill. pl. 37 (color).



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