"Zal Questions Sam's Intentions Regarding the House of Mihrab", Folio 81v from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Painting attributed to 'Abd al-'Aziz (active first half 16th century)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Made in Iran, Tabriz
Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper
Painting: H. 11 x W. 7 1/8 in. (H. 28 x W. 18.2 cm)
Entire Page: H. 18 9/16 x W. 12 7/16 in. (H. 47.1 x W. 31.6 cm)
Gift of Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1970
Not on view
As word spreads to Kabul that Sam will soon be waging war against Mihrab, Zal decides to fight to defend Rudaba and her father. He returns to meet with Sam, determined to win him over. After Zal reminds Sam of his broken promise, Sam hatches a plan. He will write a letter for Zal to deliver to Manuchihr. Seeing Zal in person will cause the shah to relent.
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)
Bordeaux. Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. "Profile of The Metropolitan Museum of Art: From Ramesses to Picasso," May 15, 1981–September 1, 1981, no catalogue.
Mohl, Jules, ed. Le Livre des Rois. Vol. I. Paris, 1876. pp. 238-242.
Welch, Stuart Cary. A King's Book of Kings: the Shah-nameh of Shah Tahmasp. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. p. 191.
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. 67 (b/w).
Canby, Sheila R. "The Persian Book of Kings." In The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. Madrid, 2011. p. 87, ill. (color), folio 81v.
Canby, Sheila R. The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp: The Persian Book of Kings. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014. p. 129, ill. fol. 81v (color).