"The Combat of Khusrau Parviz and Bahram Chubina (?)", 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 15/16 x 4 5/16 in. (5 x 10.9 cm)
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Not on view
Against the advice of wise men, the general Bahram Chubina went to fight Khusrau Parviz, son of Hurmuzd, and his Ruman army provided by Caesar, in order to gain the throne of Iran. This encounter was the first of many between the two, and only after numerous adventures did the son and heir of the shah finally gain the throne. Text that does not belong has been pasted over the text area on this leaf, leaving only part of one line of the original showing; since the image of two warriors in single combat is generic, it is impossible to be certain if the identification of the scene is accurate. The poses of the warriors indicate that one has just released an arrow and that the other has been struck by it, but the weapons are not visible because of the retouching of the background.
Ph. Walter Schulz, Leipzig (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. 48.
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. 48, p. 127, ill. (b/w).