"Gav and Talhand in Battle", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings)
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Attributed to India
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
8 in. high 8.25 in. wide (20.3 cm high 20.9 cm wide)
The Grinnell Collection, Bequest of William Milne Grinnell, 1920
Not on view
In this scene, the Indian princes Gav and Talhand battle over the kingdom of Hind. According to the Shahnama, the game of chess was invented to represent this battle, in which the brothers agreed to fight on a battlefield bordered by a deep trench from which neither could flee. The board represents the confined space of the field; the king dies when his way is blocked and all of his men have been defeated.
William Milne Grinnell, New York (until d. 1920; bequeathed to MMA)
Joseph Breck. "The William Milne Grinell Bequest." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, o.s., vol. XV (1920). pp. 273-275.
Binyon, Laurence, Basil Gray, and James Vere Stewart Wilkinson. "Including a Descriptive Catalogue of the Miniatures Exhibited at Burlington House." In Persian Miniature Painting. London, 1933.
Dimand, Maurice S. "New York, October 9 through January 7, 1933–1934." In A Guide to an Exhibition of Islamic Miniature Painting and Book Illumination. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1933. p. 28.
Islamic Painting. 1933.
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. pp. 38-39.