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"The Coronation of Shapur II", Folio from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp

Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)

Artist:
Painting attributed to Muzaffar 'Ali (active late 1520s–70s; d. ca. 1576)
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
ca. 1525–30
Geography:
Iran, Tabriz
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Painting: H. 13 1/4 x W. 8 11/16 in. (H. 33.7 x W. 22.1 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:
1970.301.59
  • Description

    The last section of the Shahnama chronicles the reigns of the Sasanian kings of Iran. Here, the tiny infant Shapur, born after the death of his father Hurmuzd II, is depicted seated on an ornately bejeweled throne as his nurse fans him. The artist Muzaffar 'Ali’s lifelong familiarity with the court and his good-natured approach to its denizens inform the portrayal of the servants bearing jewels and gifts for the new king, the chatting courtiers in the foreground, and the elegant ladies who observe from a window above the door.

  • 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
452168:2

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