Art

Text concerning Rustam’s fifth and sixth trials

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Text concerning Rustam’s fifth and sixth trials, 1562
Former Title: Story of Rustam's Fifth and Sixth Courses (text, recto and verso), folio from a manuscript of the Shahnama by Firdawsi
Series/Book Title: Shahnama by Firdawsi
Manuscript Folio
Persian
,
16th century
Safavid period, AH 907-1145 / AD 1501-1732
Creation Place: Shiraz, Iran
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
37.2 x 23.8 cm (14 5/8 x 9 3/8 in.)
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art
, 2002.50.134
Department of Islamic & Later Indian Art
,
Description
Mighty Rustam is the chief hero in the Shahnama. In the course of an adventurous life that spanned centuries, he battled for Iran and her rulers. Here, in the last of his seven courses, he slew great White Demon (Div) of Mazanderan. After a desperate struggle, he cut out his adversary's liver to bring it back to the captive and blinded Iranian king Kay Kavus, for only drops of the White Demon's blood could restore the king's sight.
Provenance
[Christies, London, 17 October 1995, lot no. 79]. [Mansour Gallery, London, before 1997], sold; to Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood, Belmont, MA (by 1997-2002), gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2002.
Bibliography
Mary McWilliams, ed., In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, exh. cat., ed. Mary McWilliams Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2013)

Exhibition History
Closely Focused, Intensely Felt: Selections from the Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/07/2004 - 01/02/2005
In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/31/2013 - 06/01/2013
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