Folio from a Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi (died 1020); verso: text and illustration: death of the giant Simurgh; recto: text

citation

Historical period(s)
Il-Khanid dynasty, Mongol period, early 14th century
Medium
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 25.2 x 18.7 cm (9 15/16 x 7 3/8 in)
Geography
Iran
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1945.22.1
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Detached manuscript folio

Keywords
death, Il-Khanid dynasty (1256 - 1353), Iran, Isfandiyar, naskh script, Shahnama, simurgh, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To 1945
H. Kahn Monif (died 1968), Persian Antique Gallery, New York, NY, to 1945 [1]

From 1945
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from H. Kahn Monif in 1945

Notes:

[1] Undated folder sheet note. For additional information, see Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920, Collections Management Office.

Previous Owner(s)

H. Kahn Monif died 1968

Label

This folio is from a copy of the Shahnama, created during the reign of the Mongol Il-khanid dynasty (1256-1353), which controlled Iran, Iraq, and parts of present-day Turkey. The image represents the death of the mythical bird Simurgh, which embodies benevolent supernatural forces in the epic. Compressed into a small space, the image is remarkable for evoking the intensity of the tragic moment.

Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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