"Bahram Gur Hunts the Onager", 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 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)
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
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)
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. 42.
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. 42, p. 120, ill. pl. 42 (b/w).