Rashnavad Battles The Rumis (Painting, Verso; Text, Recto), Illustrated Folio From A Manuscript
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
1919.130
People
Unknown Artist
Title
Rashnavad Battles the Rumis (painting, verso; text, recto), illustrated folio from a manuscript
Classification
Manuscripts
Work Type
manuscript folio
Date
c. 1330-1340
Places
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran, Tabriz
Period
Ilkhanid period
Culture
Persian
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
folio: 41.2 x 29.8 cm (16 1/4 x 11 3/4 in.)
Aquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Hervey E. Wetzel
Accession Year
1919
Object Number
1919.130
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
Descriptions

Label Text: Islamic Art: East and West, written 1982
Iran, Ilkhanid, Tabriz, ca. 1330–40
Rashnavad Battles the Rumis
From the Demotte Shahnama (Book of Kings)
Bequest – Hervey E. Wetzel 1919.130

Label Text: The Heavenly Court: Persian Poetry and Painting, written 1985
4. Battle of the Rashnawad against the Rumis
from the Demotte Shahnameh
Iran, Tabriz, ca.1330–40
Bequest – Harvey E. Wetzel 1919.130

Rashnawad is the commander of the Iranian army. He helps Darab, the rightful heir to kingship, ascend the throne of Iran by informing Queen Homay of Darab’s identity. Upon Darab’s coronation by Homay, the war with Rum is resumed. The Iranian army, lead by its commander Rashnawad, fights a fierce battle against the Rumis led by Filicus (Philip). On the fourth day Filicus is defeated and forced to flee to his capital, Ammoria, from where he sends an emissary to Darab imploring him to uphold his honor in a way befitting a true monarch. Following an agreement, Filicus gives his daughter Nahid to Darab in marriage, sending her along with a hundred thousand golden eggs, each containing a royal gem. Eventually, however, Darab sends the pregnant Nahid back to Rum. There she gives birth to a son whom she names Sekandar (Alexander the Great). Sekandar becomes heir to the throne of Caesar and in time defeats Dara the son of Darab and ascends the throne of Iran.

Label Text: Eyes to the East: Indian, Persian, and Turkish Art Given by Harvard Graduates, written 1990
Rashnavad Battles the Rumis
From the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdawsi
Persia, Ilkhanid Tabriz, ca. 1330 – 40
Opaque watercolor on paper
Bequest of Hervey E. Wetzel (Class of 1907)
1919.130

Label Text: Paintings for Princes: The Art of the Book in Islam, written 1990
Rashnavad Battles the Rumis
From the Demotte Shahnama
(Book of Kings) of Firdawsi
Iran, Ilkhanid Tabriz, ca. 1330 – 40
Opaque watercolor on paper
Bequest of Harvey E. Wetzel
1919.130

Publication History

Thomas W. Lentz and Glenn D. Lowry, Timur and the Princely Vision: Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century, exh. cat., Museum Associates (Los Angeles, CA, 1989), pp131, fig. 41

Abolala Soudavar, "The Saga of Abu-Sa'id Bahador Khan: The Abu-Sa'idname", Oxford Studies In Islamic Art XII: The Court of the Il-Khans 1290-1340, Oxford University Press (NY) (Oxford, UK, 1996), page 111/figure 9

Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, brochure, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, March 2004), p 8

Exhibition History

The Heavenly Court: Persian Poetry and Painting, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 02/09/1985 - 03/31/1985

Islamic Art: The Power of Pattern, Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 09/23/1989 - 01/17/1990

Paintings for Princes: The Art of the Book in Islam, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/27/1990 - 03/25/1990

Eyes to the East: Indian, Persian, and Turkish Art Given by Harvard Graduates, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/22/1990 - 11/25/1990

Word and Image in Persian Painting, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/31/2013 - 03/30/2013

Verification Level

2 - Adequate. Object is adequately described but information may not be vetted