Quantcast

"Zal Consults the Magi", 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)
Workshop director:
'Abd al-'Aziz (active first half 16th century)
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. 11 1/16 x W. 7 1/4 in. (H. 28.1 x W. 18.4 cm) Entire Page: H. 18 9/16 x W. 12 1/2 in. (H. 47.1 x W. 31.8 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Gift of Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1970
Accession Number:
1970.301.8
  • Description

    In this painting, Zal is depicted enthroned as he consults his magi, or Zoroastrian wise men, on how to win his father’s approval to marry Rudaba, the granddaughter of the evil king Zahhak. The phoenix-like bird on the canopy may refer to the simurgh, which saved and nurtured the infant Zal, whose parents had rejected him for being an albino. The sinuous flowering trees often appear in Turkmen painting of Tabriz.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: In Persian in nasta’liq script, verses from the Shāhnma of Ferdowsī , the story گفتار اندر خواب دیدن سام نریمان (the story of Nariman's dream of Sam)
    (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.202).

    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
452117

Close