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"Bahram Gur Pins the Coupling Onagers", Folio from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp

Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)

Artist:
Painting attributed to Mir Sayyid 'Ali (active ca. 1530–75)
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
ca. 1530–35
Geography:
Iran, Tabriz
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Painting: H. 11 1/8 in. (28.3 cm) W. 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm) Page: H. 18 9/16 in. (47.1 cm) W. 12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm) Mat: H. 22 in. (55.9 cm) W. 16 in. (40.6 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Gift of Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1970
Accession Number:
1970.301.62
  • Description

    One day, Shah Bahram and a large party of horsemen were hunting in a plain overrun with onagers, or wild asses. Letting fly an arrow at a buck mounting his mate, Bahram pinned them together and earned the nickname Bahram Gur, or "Onagers" Bahram. Distinguished for his meticulous attention to detail, Mir Sayyid 'Ali had been raised in the Safavid artists’ atelier under the tutelage of his father, Mir Musavvir, the second director of Shah Tahmasp’s Shahnama project. The simurgh on Bahram Gur’s saddlecloth and intricate designs on his quiver and saddle are typical of Mir Sayyid 'Ali’s work.

  • Provenance

    Shah Tahmasp, Iran (until 1568); Sultan Selim II, Istanbul (from 1568); Sultan Selim III, Istanbul (by 1800); Baron Edmond de Rothschild, France (by 1903–d. 1934); his son, Baron Maurice de Rothschild, Paris and Pregny, near Geneva (by 1955–d. 1957); [ Stiebel Ltd., New York, until 1959; sold to Houghton]; Arthur A. Houghton Jr., New York (1959–70)

  • See also
    Who
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    Where
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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
452171

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