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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Hero and Dragon

Object Name:
Illustrated single work
third quarter 16th century
Attributed to Iran, Qazvin
Ink, watercolor, and gold on paper
H. 8 11/16 in. (22 cm) W. 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of George D. Pratt, 1925
Accession Number:
Not on view
In a rocky landscape a hunter on horseback plunges his sword through the neck of a dragon that has sunk its fangs into a small deer. A pair of deer and two rabbits scatter in the foreground. With its blue tinted rocks and gold dragon's wings, this is a finished drawing, despite the narrative suggestion of its subject matter. Various heroes in the 'Shahnama', the Persian national epic, combat dragons, but this image evokes rather than illustrates these manly acts.
George D. Pratt, New York (until 1925; gifted to MMA)
Palm Beach, FL. The Society of the Four Arts. "Loan to the Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, Fl," February 2, 1962–February 27, 1962, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Persian Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 13, 1989–December 31, 1989, no. 9.

Swietochowski, Marie, and Sussan Babaie. Persian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989. no. 9, pp. 28-29, ill. pl. 9 (b/w).

Yarshater, Ehsan, ed. Encyclopaedia Iranica vol. 7 (1996). p. 543, ill. pl. XL (b/w).

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