Folio from a Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi (d. 1020); recto: text, The king of Hamaveran plots against Kavus; verso: text, Afrasiyab renews the war

citation

Detached folio from a dispersed copy of the Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi; text: Persian in black naskhi script; recto: text: The king of Hamaveran plots against Kavus, 6 columns, 29 lines; verso: text: Afrasiyab renews the war, 6 columns, 29 lines; one of a group of 6 folios.
Border: The text is set in gold, red, black, and blue rulings on cream-colored paper.

Historical period(s)
Il-Khanid dynasty, 1300-1350
Medium
Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 26.4 x 19.1 cm (10 3/8 x 7 1/2 in)
Geography
Iran
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1945.26.2
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Detached Manuscript folio

Keywords
Bijan, Il-Khanid dynasty (1256 - 1353), Iran, Piran, 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

Description

Detached folio from a dispersed copy of the Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi; text: Persian in black naskhi script; recto: text: The king of Hamaveran plots against Kavus, 6 columns, 29 lines; verso: text: Afrasiyab renews the war, 6 columns, 29 lines; one of a group of 6 folios.
Border: The text is set in gold, red, black, and blue rulings on cream-colored paper.

Label

Although the arts of the book in Iran enjoyed great prestige prior to the Mongol invasion of the mid-thirteenth century, the earliest extant illustrated manuscripts date from the reign of the Ilkhanid dynasty (1256-1336). Among this group are several copies of the Shahnama (Book of kings), the Persian national epic. Composed in the year 1010 by the poet Firdawsi, the Shahnama recounts the stories of legendary and historical kings and heroes. Its colorful combination of fact and fantasy has meant that it is the most frequently illustrated text.

According to the Shahnama, when Bizhan and Manizha fall in love, Manizha's father tries to prevent this liaison by executing Bizhan. "Stripped naked, both arms tied firm as a rock behind his back," Bizhan's condition inspires pity in one of the king's advisers who persuades the king to postpone the execution.

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

Copyright with museum

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