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"The Funeral of Isfandiyar", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings)

Author:
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
1330s
Geography:
Iran, Tabriz
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Page: H. 22 13/16 in. (58 cm) W. 15 3/4 in. (40 cm) Mat: H. 24 in. (61 cm) W. 19 1/2 in. (49.5 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1933
Accession Number:
33.70
Not on view
From a dispersed copy of the Ilkhanid manuscript referred to as the Great Mongol Shahnama, this folio depicts the funeral procession of the Persian hero Isfandiyar. The bier is accompanied by a group of mourners, some wailing and pulling at their hair, which is worn loose as a sign of mourning. The painting technique, with its strong linear quality and thin washes of color, recalls contemporary Chinese brush painting.
Inscription: In Persian in nasta’liq script verses from the Shāhnma of Ferdowsī , heading above گفتار اندر اندرز کردن اسفندیار رستم را از بهر بهمن (story of the advice of Isfandīyār to Rustam regarding Bahman) and heading below گفتار اندر آگاهي یافتن گشتاسب از کشته شدن اسفندیار (story of Gushtasp's hearing about Isfandiyar's death) The title of the story on the page itself is آوردن تابوت اسفندیار (The bringining of …᾽Isfandīyār's cenotaph).

(Abu’l-Qasim Feardowsi,The Shāhnāmeh (The book of kings), ed, Djalal Khalqi- Muṭlagh, Mazda publishers in association with Bibliotheca Persica, Costa Mesa, California and New York, 1997, vol.5, pp424-27. )

A.Ghouchani
[ Demotte, Inc., New York, by 1926–33; sold to MMA]
Wilson, Arnold T. "7th January to 28th February, 1931." In Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art. 3rd. ed. London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1931. no. 440, p. 210.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 32, ill. fig. 16 (b/w).

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. Publications, 36.. Lahore: The Panjabi Adabi Academy, 1964. p. 32, ill. fig. 16 (b/w).

Grube, Ernst J. "The Early School of Herat and its Impact on Islamic Painting of the Later 15th, the 16th and 17th Centuries." In The Classical Style in Islamic Painting. Venice: Edizioni Oriens, 1968. ill. pl. 2 (b/w).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries: the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1970. no. 156, p. 179, ill. (b/w).

Ettinghausen, Richard. "Islamic Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 33, no. 1 (Spring 1975). ill. p. 23 (b/w).

Welch, Stuart Cary. The Islamic World. vol. 11. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. pp. 72-73, ill. fig. 53 (color).

Alexander, David. Furusiyya: Catalogue. vol. 2. Riyadh,Saudi Arabia: King Abdulaziz Public Library, 1996. no. 204, p. 242-245, ill. p. 244 (color).

Swietochowski, Marie, Stefano Carboni, Tomoko Masuya, and Alexander H. Morton. "Persian Painting of the 1330s and 1340s." In Illustrated Poetry and Epic Images. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994. p. 12, ill. fig. 4 (b/w).

Rossabi, Morris, Charles Melville, James C.Y. Watt, Tomoko Masuya, Sheila S. Blair, Robert Hillenbrand, Linda Komaroff, Stefano Carboni, Sarah Bertelan, and John Hirx. The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256–1353, edited by Stefano Carboni, and Linda Komaroff. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002. no. 42, pp. 107, 255, ill. fig. 123 (color).

Encyclopaedia Iranica vol. XII (2004). p. 662, ill. pl. VI (b/w).

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 57, pp. 89, 96-97, ill. p. 96 (color).



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