"The Combat of Tus and Human", 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: 7 15/16 x 5 3/16 in. (20.2 x 13.2 cm)
Painting: 1 9/16 x 4 1/4 in. (3.9 x 10.8 cm)
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Not on view
Before they led their armies in battle, the Iranian, Tus, and the Turanian, Human, engaged in single combat. They were so closely matched that only the failing light forced an end to the fighting. The battle scene in this miniature is particularly lively, with spirited horses highlighting the sense of dynamic action.
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. 18.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Riding Across Central Asia: Images of the Mongolian Horse in Islamic Art," April 26, 2000–November 12, 2000, no catalogue.
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. 18, pp. 94-95, ill. pl.18 (color).