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"Bahram Gur Hunts the Onager", 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 2 3/16 in. (4.8 x 5.6 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Accession Number:
1974.290.35
Not on view
Even though this miniature has been damaged and pasted over, so that only the head of Bahram Gur - unsurpassed in his hunting prowess - is visible (at right), the depiction of the dead onager is so moving as to render this a great animal picture. Adding to the pathos of the death of this swift and graceful beast is the finality of the event, emphasized by the barrier created by the curving tree trunk.
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. 42, p. 120, ill. pl. 42 (b/w).



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