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"Firdausi's Parable of the Ship of Shi'ism", Folio 18v from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp

Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)

Artist:
Painting attributed to Mirza 'Ali (active ca. 1525–75)
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
ca. 1530–35
Geography:
Iran, Tabriz
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Painting: H. 12 1/2 in. (31.7 cm) W. 8 15/16 in. (22.7 cm) Page: H. 18 1/2 in. (47 cm) W.12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm) Mat: H. 22 in. (55.9 cm) W. 16 in. (40.6 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Gift of Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1970
Accession Number:
1970.301.1
  • Description

    In the introduction to the Shahnama, God launched seventy ships, bearing adherents to the religions of mankind, into a stormy sea. Clearly depicted on the central ship are the Prophet and his son‑in‑law and successor 'Ali sitting beneath the red canopy, while 'Ali’s sons, Hasan and Husain, stand nearby. Details such as the inlaid stars and figures with very small elliptical pupils are characteristic of works attributed to Mirza 'Ali, the son of the master painter Sultan Muhammad.

  • Provenance

    Shah Tahmasp, Iran (until 1568); Sultan Selim II, Istanbul (from 1568); Sultan Selim III, Istanbul (by 1800); Baron Edmond de Rothschild, Paris (by 1903–d. 1934); his son, Baron Maurice de Rothschild, Paris and Pregny, near Geneva (by 1955–d. 1957); [ Stiebel Ltd., New York, until 1959; sold to Houghton]; Arthur A. Houghton Jr., New York (1959–70)

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
452110:5

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