"Hurmuzd I's Last Testament to Prince Bahram I", Folio 535r from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Painting attributed to Aqa Mirak (active ca. 1525–60)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Made in Iran, Tabriz
Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper
Painting: H. 6 5/8 x W. 7 3/32 in. (H. 16.8 x W. 18 cm)
Entire Page: H. 18 11/16 x W. 12 5/8 in. (H. 47.5 x W. 32.1 cm)
Gift of Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1970
Not on view
Shapur and Mihrak's daughter have a son, who rules as Hurmuzd I, a just and prudent king. When he grows old and death is upon him, he calls for the crown prince Bahram I and exhorts him to rule with moderation.
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)
Barcelona. City History Museum of Barcelona. "The Human Condition: The Image of Man in Art," May 10, 2004–September 26, 2004, p. 176.
Mohl, Jules, ed. Le Livre des Rois. Vol. I. Paris, 1876. pp. 319-323.
Welch, Stuart Cary. A King's Book of Kings: the Shah-nameh of Shah Tahmasp. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. p. 195.
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. 220 (b/w).
"The Dream of a Shadow." In La Condicion Humana; The Human Condition. Barcelona: Museu d'Historia de la Ciutat de Barcelona (MHCB), 2004. pp. 176-177, ill. p. 176 (color).
Canby, Sheila R. "The Persian Book of Kings." In The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. Madrid, 2011. p. 240, ill. (color).
Canby, Sheila R. The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp: The Persian Book of Kings. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014. pp. 282, 325, 328, ill. fol. 535r, full-page color ill. p. 282; detail pp. 325, 328.