Folio from a Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi (died 1020); recto: text and illustration: Rustam rescues Bijan from the well; verso: text

citation

Detached folio from a dispersed copy of the Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi; text: Persian in black and red naskh script; illustration and text: Rustam rescues Bijan from the well, 6 columns, 21 lines; reverse: text, 6 columns, 30 lines; one of a group of 7 folios.
Border: The text and the painting have been remargined and mounted on to another paper.

Historical period(s)
Inju dynasty, Mongol period, February 1341 (Ramadan 741 A.H.)
Medium
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 14.8 x 23.4 cm (5 13/16 x 9 3/16 in)
Geography
Iran, Shiraz
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1945.7
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Detached manuscript folio

Keywords
Afrasiyab, Bijan, Inju dynasty (1335 - 1357), Iran, Mongol period (1220 - 1380), Rustam, Shahnama, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To 1945
Dikran G. Kelekian (1868-1951), Cairo, Egypt, Paris, France, and New York to 1945 [1]

From 1945
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Dikran G. Kelekian, New York, in 1945 [2]

Notes:

[1] See Freer Gallery or Art Purchase List after 1920, Collections Management Office.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Dikran Garabed Kelekian 1868 - 1951

Description

Detached folio from a dispersed copy of the Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi; text: Persian in black and red naskh script; illustration and text: Rustam rescues Bijan from the well, 6 columns, 21 lines; reverse: text, 6 columns, 30 lines; one of a group of 7 folios.
Border: The text and the painting have been remargined and mounted on to another paper.

Label

The story of the Persian hero Bizhan and the Turanian princess Manizha, the daughter of Afrasiyab, is a rare romantic interlude in the feuds between Iran and Turan in the Shahnama (Book of kings), the Persian national epic. When the Turanian tyrant Afrasiyab finds out about his daughter's love for Bizhan, he captures the youth and imprisons him in a well. This fourteenth-century illustration depicts the final episode in the romance, when Rustam comes to Bizhan's aid. According to Firdawsi, when Rustam's companions are unable to move the rock covering the well, "With a prayer to the creator to be granted strength, he [Rustam] stretched out his hand and without a moment's delay lifted the boulder, which he threw into the forest in the land of China, thus causing the whole surface of the earth to quake."

Published References
  • Grace Dunham Guest. Notes on the Miniatures on a 13th Century Beaker. vol. 10 Ann Arbor. fig. 17.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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