"Rudaba Makes a Ladder of Her Tresses", Folio 72v from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Painting attributed to Qadimi (active ca. 1525–65)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Made in Iran, Tabriz
Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper
Painting: H. 11 in. (27.9 cm) W. 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm) Page: H. 18 1/2 in. (47 cm) W. 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm) Mat: H. 22 in. (55.9 cm) W. 16 in. (40.6 cm)
Gift of Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1970
Not on view
One of Rudaba's maids sneaks Zal through the palace to the princess's pavilion. Although Rudaba lowers her tresses for him to scale the wall, Zal tosses up his lasso to catch the crenellation at the roof, then climbs up to meet his beloved.
Shah Tahmasp, Iran (until 1568; gifted to Selim II); 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; gifted to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Islamic Jewelry in the Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 22, 1983–August 14, 1983.
Welch, Stuart Cary. A King's Book of Kings: the Shah-nameh of Shah Tahmasp. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. p. 190.
Dickson, Martin, and Stuart Cary Welch. The Houghton Shahnameh. Vol. vols. I & II. Cambridge, Mass. and London, England: Harvard University Press, 1981. vol. II, ill. pl. 59 (b/w).
Jenkins-Madina, Marilyn, and Manuel Keene. Islamic Jewelry in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1983. p. 103, ill. fig. 11 (b/w), folio 72v.
Canby, Sheila R. "The Persian Book of Kings." In The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. Madrid, 2011. p. 79, ill. (color), folio 72v.
Canby, Sheila R. The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp: The Persian Book of Kings. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014. p. 121, ill. fol. 72v (color).