H. Kahn Monif (died 1968), Persian Antique Gallery, New York, NY, to 1945 
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from H. Kahn Monif in 1945
 Undated folder sheet note. For additional information, see Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920, Collections Management Office.
- Previous Owner(s)
H. Kahn Monif died 1968
Detached folio from a dispersed copy of the Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi; text: Persian in black naskhi script; recto: text: The king of Hamaveran plots against Kavus, 6 columns, 29 lines; verso: text: Afrasiyab renews the war, 6 columns, 29 lines; one of a group of 6 folios.
Border: The text is set in gold, red, black, and blue rulings on cream-colored paper.
Although the arts of the book in Iran enjoyed great prestige prior to the Mongol invasion of the mid-thirteenth century, the earliest extant illustrated manuscripts date from the reign of the Ilkhanid dynasty (1256-1336). Among this group are several copies of the Shahnama (Book of kings), the Persian national epic. Composed in the year 1010 by the poet Firdawsi, the Shahnama recounts the stories of legendary and historical kings and heroes. Its colorful combination of fact and fantasy has meant that it is the most frequently illustrated text.
According to the Shahnama, when Bizhan and Manizha fall in love, Manizha's father tries to prevent this liaison by executing Bizhan. "Stripped naked, both arms tied firm as a rock behind his back," Bizhan's condition inspires pity in one of the king's advisers who persuades the king to postpone the execution.
- Published References
- Dr. Esin Atil. Exhibition of 2500 Years of Persian Art. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. pp. 4-5, pl. 12.
- Marianna Shreve Simpson. The Illustration of an Epic: The Earliest Shahnama Manuscripts. Outstanding Dissertations in the Fine Arts New York and London. pp. 108, 280, 294, 296, 305, fig. 18.
- Abolqasem Ferdowsi. The Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings. New York. pp. 177-180.
- Collection Area(s)
- Arts of the Islamic World
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
- SI Usage Statement
Usage Conditions Apply
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)
Usage Conditions Apply
Chrome users: right click on icon, select "save link as..."
Internet Explorer users: right click on icon, select "save target as..."
Mozilla Firefox users: right click on icon, select "save link as..."