verso © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2002.50.11
Title
Shapur with the Daughter of Mihrak (text, recto; painting, verso), folio from a manuscript of the Shahnama by Firdawsi
Classification
Manuscripts
Work Type
manuscript folio
Date
second half of the 16th century
Places
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran
Period
Safavid period
Culture
Persian
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/149258
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
34 x 22 cm (13 3/8 x 8 11/16 in.)
Provenance
Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood, Belmont, MA (by 1998-2002), gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2002.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art
Accession Year
2002
Object Number
2002.50.11
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
According to Firdawsi’s narrative, Prince Shapur, on a hunting trip, stopped to rest in a charming village where, at a well in a splendid garden, he saw a beautiful young woman drawing water. She offered to water his horses, but Shapur refused her help, saying that his men could perform the task. As they struggled to bring up the heavy bucket, the prince asked the woman about her family. When he learned that she was the daughter of his enemy Mihrak Nushzad and had been brought to the village for safekeeping, he decided to marry her immediately.
In this illustration, Shapur and the daughter of Mihrak, standing in a blooming garden, gesture toward each other, while Shapur’s men are grouped on the right. Absent here are depictions of the well and of vessels for carrying water, which appear in other illustrations of the same story.

Recto. Subtitles in the text of this folio read, "Ardashir sends a message to Kayd of India." Text corresponds with M. Ramazani (1963) vol. 4, pp. 121-22, lines 2893-2938; subtitle reads, "Ardashir sends a message to Kayd of India." Text corresponds with J. Mohl (1976), vol. 5, pp.342-46, lines 132-176. Mohl subtitle reads, " Shapour joue à la balle et est reconnu par Ardeshir," Ardeshir se fait prédire son sort par Keid l'Indien."

Verso. Subtitle in the text of this folio reads, "Ardashir and Hurmuzd Go Hunting." The subtitle on the verso of this folio does not describe the painted image of Shapur and the daughter of Mihrak. Text corresponds with M. Ramazani (1963) vol. 4, pp. 122-24, lines 2939-2971. Text corresponds with J. Mohl (1976), vol. 5, pp.346-50, lines 177-209. Mohl subtitle reads, "Schapour épouse la fille de Mihrek."

Published Catalogue Text: In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art , written 2013
66

Shapur with the Daughter of Mihrak
Recto: text
Verso: text and illustration, with title
“Ardashir sends a message to Kayd of India”
Safavid period, second half 16th century
Folio: 34 × 22 cm (13 3/8 × 8 11/16 in.)
2002.50.11

According to Firdawsi’s narrative, Prince Shapur, on a hunting trip, stopped to rest in a charming village where, at a well in a splendid garden, he saw a beautiful young woman drawing water. She offered to water his horses, but Shapur refused her help, saying that his men could perform the task. As they struggled to bring up the heavy bucket, the prince asked the woman about her family. When he learned that she was the daughter of his enemy Mihrak Nushzad and had been brought to the village for safekeeping, he decided to marry her immediately.

In this illustration, Shapur and the daughter of Mihrak, standing in a blooming garden, gesture toward each other, while Shapur’s men are grouped on the right. Absent here are depictions of the well and of vessels for carrying water, which appear in other illustrations of the same story.[1]

Mika M. Natif

[1] See, for example, the Tahmasp Shāhnāma, fol. 527v, reproduced in Dickson and S. C. Welch 1981a, vol. 2, no. 219; Canby 2011, 239.

Publication History

Mary McWilliams, ed., In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2013), pp. 218-219, cat. 66, ill.

Exhibition History

In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/31/2013 - 06/01/2013

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu