"Kai Khusrau Crosses the Sea", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdausi
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Attributed to India, Deccan, Bijapur
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Page: 8 x 4 7/8 in. (20.3 x 12.4 cm)
Painting: 5 3/8 x 2 3/4 in. (13.6 x 7 cm)
Gift of Wendy Findlay, 1982
Not on view
These leaves come from a small-format manuscript of high quality, judging from the exquisite detail and lavish use of gold. The pastel palette and details like fantastic rock formations and small groupings of white buildings suggest the manuscript was made in Bijapur. This painting shows the ship of Kai Khusrau, which, when pursuing his enemy Afrasiyab, was blown off course by a fearful storm to a place with all manner of weird sea creatures.
Wendy Findlay, New York (by 1980–82; gifted to MMA)
Mexico City. Colegio de San Ildefonso. "Arte islamico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York," September 30, 1994–January 8, 1995, no. 24.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Sultans of Deccan India, 1500-1700: Opulence and Fantasy," April 20, 2015–July 26, 2015, no. 37.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Daniel S. Walker, Arturo Ponce Guadián, Sussan Babaie, Stefano Carboni, Aimee Froom, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, Tomoko Masuya, Annie Christine Daskalakis-Matthews, Abdallah Kahil, and Rochelle Kessler. "Colegio de San Ildefonso, Septiembre de 1994-Enero de 1995." In Arte Islámico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1994. no. 24, pp. 92-93, ill. p. 93 (b/w).
Haidar, Navina, and Marika Sardar. "Opulence and Fantasy." In Sultans of Deccan India 1500–1700. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015. no. 37, p. 107, ill. pl. 37 (color).