"Sam Comes to Inspect Rustam", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings)
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Attributed to Iran, probably Isfahan
Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
Page: 8 x 5 1/8 in. (20.3 x 13 cm)
Painting: 1 15/16 x 4 in. (5 x 10.1 cm)
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Not on view
Rustam, the future warrior hero of Iran, was such a huge baby that he could only be born by Caesarian section. Here, the noble Sam has come to inspect his grandson, already, though a child, reputed to resemble a lion in courage and daring. Rustam has been seated on an elephant for the occasion, dressed as the warrior he is to become. The artist has mistakenly given him a beard, apparently forgetting his tender age in this scene.
Ph. Walter Schulz, Leipzig, Germany (by 1914); Professor O. Moll, Düsseldorf, Germany ; Monroe C. Gutman, New York (by 1929–d. 1974; bequeathed to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Illustrated Poetry and Epic Images: Persian Painting of the 1330s and 1340s," February 1, 1994–May 1, 1994, no. 10.
Masuya, Tomoko. "The Condition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Small Shahnama and the Reconstruction of its Text." In Poetry and Epic Images, edited by Marie Lukens Swietochowski, and Stefano Carboni. New York, 1994. pp. 129-145.
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. no. 10, p. 85, ill. pl. 10 (b/w).