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"Tahmuras Defeats the Divs", Folio from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp

Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)

Artist:
Painting attributed to Sultan Muhammad (active first half 16th century)
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
ca. 1525
Geography:
Iran, Tabriz
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Painting: H. 11 1/8 (28.3 cm) W. 7 5/16 in. (18.6 cm) Entire Page: H. 18 1/2 in. (47 cm) W. 12 5/8 in. (32.1 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:
1970.301.3
  • Description

    Tahmuras, shown here galloping across a meadow, defeated the divs (demons); in exchange for their lives, they taught him the art of writing. This work is attributed to Sultan Muhammad, the master painter and chief administrator of the first generation of artists of this manuscript. The humor of the divs’ ghastly faces and gestures and the painterly treatment of their spotty skin are typical of Sultan Muhammad’s style.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: In Persian in Nasta’liq script verses from the Shāhnma of Ferdowsī , story پادشاهي طهمورث سي سال بود The rule of Tahmuras was thirty years).
    (Abu’l-Qasim Feardowsi,The Shāhnāmeh (The book of kings), ed, Djalal Khalqi- Muṭlagh, Mazda publishers in association with Bibliotheca Persica, Costa Mesa, California and New York, 1988, vol.1, p.37).

    A.Ghouchani

  • 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
452112:1

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