Folio from a Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi (d. 1020); recto: Kay Ka'us chained in a grotto by the white demon; verso: text, Ka'us sends a letter to Rustam the son of Zal and asks for help

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2

Terms of Use

Usage Conditions Apply

At A Glance

  • Period

  • Geography

    Qazvin, Iran
  • Material

    Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper
  • Dimension

    H x W (sheet): 45.6 x 31.5 cm (17 15/16 x 12 3/8 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Artist

    Ascribed to Siyavush
  • Description

    Detached folio from a dispersed copy of the Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi; text: Persian in black nasta’liq script; recto: illustration and text: Kay Ka'us chained in a grotto by the white demon, 4 columns, 6 lines of text, marginal writings; verso: text: Ka'us sends a letter to Rustam the son of Zal and asks for help, 4 columns, 22 lines of text.
    Border: The recto is set in gold, black, and blue rulings on cream-colored paper; the verso is set in gold, red, green, and blue rulings on cream-colored paper.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Engaging the Senses (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
    The Shahnama: 1000 Years of the Persian Book of Kings (October 23, 2010 to April 17, 2011)
    Arts of the Islamic World (May 3, 1998 to January 3, 2016)
    Exhibition of Persian painting, Paris, 1912 (1912)
  • Origin

    Qazvin, Iran
  • Credit Line

    Purchase -- Charles Lang Freer Endowment in appreciation of Mary Wilkie Ebrahimi and her exemplary service to the Galleries as vice chair of the Board of Trustees (2003-2007)
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The National Museum of Asian Art welcomes information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Keep Exploring