Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdausi

Painting by Mu'in Musavvir Iranian
Author Abu'l Qasim Firdausi Iranian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 462

Fol. 158v: The Div Akvan carries Rustam to the Sea
On a quest to find a div (demon) that had been killing the shah’s herds, Rustam grew tired and went to sleep in a meadow. The div, Akvan, spied him and lifted him with the mound of earth on which he lay. As Rustam trembled with fear, Akvan said: "Tell me where you want me to leave you. Shall I throw you into the sea or onto the mountains?" Rustam chose the mountains, knowing that the div would do the opposite. The orange div with its flaming gold eyelids and strangely shaped horns is typical within the work of Mu‘in Musavvir, who illustrated a number of Shahnama manuscripts in the second half of the seventeenth century.

Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdausi, Painting by Mu'in Musavvir (Iranian, active 1630s–90s), Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper

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Folio 158v