"The Funeral of Iskandar", 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: 8 1/16 x 5 1/4 in. (20.5 x 13.3 cm)
Painting: 1 3/4 x 3 1/4 in. (4.4 x 8.3 cm)
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Not on view
Iskandar (Alexander the Great), having been warned by a talking tree of his impending death, took sick and died in Babylon. His gilded bier was carried out on the plain while all mourned. This miniature, with the white background of the plain and the gold coffin, movingly portrays the grief displayed by the mourners rending their hair and clothes. Two miniatures from the Great Ilkhanid Shahnama illustrate the funeral procession from Babylon to Iskandariyya and the continued mourning as the body lay in state in an elaborate hall.
Ph. Walter Schulz, Leipzig, Germany (by 1914); Professor O. Moll, Düsseldorf, Germany ; Monroe C. Gutman, New York (by 1929–d. 1974; bequeathed to MMA)
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. 40.
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. 40, p. 118, ill. (b/w).