"Rustam Kills the White Div", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings), Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020), Ink, opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper

"Rustam Kills the White Div", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings)

Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
ca. 1300–30
Attributed to Northwestern Iran or Baghdad
Ink, opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper
Painting: H. 2 1/16 in. (5.2 cm)
W. 4 11/16 in. (11.9 cm)
Page: H. 9 1/8 in. (23.2 cm)
W. 7 7/16 in. (18.9 cm)
Mat: H. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm)
W. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1969
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
The basic iconography of this popular tale of heroism was developed by the fourteenth century and continues essentially unchanged. A Mongol-featured Rustam wears his familiar tiger skin while his robe beneath and the saddle blanket of his horse Rakhsh show the familiar Mongol peony flowers. Rustam has just cut off one of the powerful div's legs. Another div pokes its head over the top of the cave while Rustam's guide Ulad, tied to a tree, awaits him in this very busy, compact composition from the First Small Shahnama.
Textile Museum, Washington (until 1969; sold to MMA)
Swietochowski, Marie, and Marilyn Jenkins-Madina. Notable Acquisitions 1965–1975 (1975). p. 133, ill. (b/w).

Swietochowski, Marie, and Richard Ettinghausen. "Islamic Painting." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., vol. 36, no. 2 (Autumn 1978). pp. 8-9, ill. pp. 8, 9 (b/w).

Simpson, Marianna. "The Illustration of an Epic: The Earliest Shahnama Manuscripts." PhD diss., Garland Publishing, Inc., 1979. p. 370, ill. fig. 27 (b/w).

Swietochowski, Marie, Stefano Carboni, Tomoko Masuya, and Alexander H. Morton. Illustrated Poetry and Epic Images:Persian Painting of the 1330s and 1340s. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994. p. 89, ill. fig. 28 (b/w).