"Iskandar in the Presence of the Brahmins", 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: 8 1/16 x 4 7/8 in. (20.5 x 12.4 cm)
Painting: 1 7/8 x 4 5/16 in. (4.8 x 11 cm)
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Not on view
Iskandar (Alexander the Great) traveled to the land of the Brahmins to learn their philosophy. He found them content in their quest for wisdom and knowledge, which are more enduring goals than crown, conquest, and treasure. Here, the Brahims are shown in the simplest of robes and with the curving-leaf headgear traditionally depicted in miniatures on such otherworldly beings as nymphs, fairies, and angels.
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. 38, p. 116, ill. (b/w).