"Bahram Chubina Meets a Lady who Foretells his Fate", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings)
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Iran, probably Isfahan
Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
Page: 8 x 5 1/4 in. (20.3 x 13.4 cm)
Painting: 1 7/8 x 4 5/16 in. (4.8 x 10.9 cm)
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Not on view
Bahram Chubina, the commander-in-chief of the ungrateful king Hurmuzd, was led by magic to a hidden palace where a beautiful enthroned woman told him that the crown of Iran would be his. The interaction of the figures in this picture is characteristic of this manuscript, but their identity, except for those of the enthroned lady and her two guardians, are unclear. If she is talking to Bahram, the companion seated next to him is not identified in the text. The two figures on the left are similarly puzzling.
Ph. Walter Schulz, Leipzig (by 1914); Professor O. Moll, Düsseldorf, Germany ; Monroe C. Gutman, New York (by 1929–d. 1974; bequeathed to MMA)
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. "Persian Painting of the 1330s and 1340s." In Illustrated Poetry and Epic Images. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994. no. 47, p. 126, ill. (b/w).