"Mihran Sitad Chooses a Daughter of the Khaqan of Chin", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdausi
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: 2 3/16 x 4 7/16 in. (5.5 x 11.2 cm)
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Not on view
The miniature shows the Iranian envoy (at left) escorted into the women's quarters by the Queen of Chin (China) to choose a wife for king Nushirvan from among the daughters of the Khaqan (khan). Centrally placed and slightly isolated from the others is the only daughter who had royal blood on both sides, purposely made to look plain by her mother, in the hope that another will be chosen. The wily Iranian envoy, however, perceived her superior qualities and choose the royal princess.
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. 44.
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. 44, p. 122, ill. (color).