"Rustam Falls in the Spear-Lined Pit", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings)
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Folio fro290.30m an illustrated manuscript
Attributed to Iran, probably Isfahan
Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
Page: 8 x 5 3/16 in. (20.3 x 13.2 cm) Painting: 1 7/8 x 4 1/4 in. (4.8 x 10.8 cm)
Bequest of Monroe C. Gutman, 1974
Not on view
Rustam's treacherous half-brother Shaghad devised with his father-in-law, the king of Kabul, a cruel and cowardly way of killing him. The two plotters pretended to quarrel and Shaghad called on Rustam to redress his grievances. When Rustam loyally responded and arrived in Kabul to punish its king, the latter guilefully pretended humility and remorse and was forgiven by the hero. The king then proposed a hunt, knowing Rustam's passion for this royal sport. In the meantime, at Shaghdad's suggestion, he had pits dug along the hunting paths, filled with sharp lances and spears and then concealed. Rakhsh fell in one of these pits and both steed and hero were impaled on the spikes, as was Rustam's brother Zavara.
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. 36.
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. 36, pp. 114-115, ill. pl. 36 (b/w).