"Rustam Captures the Shah of Sham and the Shah of Berber", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdausi
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 1/16 x 5 1/4 in. (20.5 x 13.3 cm)
Painting: 1 7/8 x 4 1/4 in. (4.7 x 10.8 cm)
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Not on view
Rustam, heading the Persian forces, was called upon to defeat the combined armies of the shah of Hamavaran - who through treachery had captured the Persian shah, Kai Kavus - and his allies, the shahs of Sham and Berber. After fierce fighting, Rustam captured the allied kings and the shah of Hamavaran asked for peace. In this battle scene, depicted with liveliness and verve, Rustam, identifiable by his tiger-skin cuirass (right foreground) appears to be lassoing the shah of Sham though the lasso is missing. The shah of Sham (left) is bending forward on his horse as though pulled by the lasso.d
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. 14.
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. 14, p. 90, ill. pl. 14 (b/w).