"The Funeral of Isfandiyar", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings)
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
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)
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1933
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. )
[ Demotte, Inc., New York, by 1926–33; sold to MMA]
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