recto © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2002.50.40
Title
Gushtaham and Banduy Blind Hurmuzd (painting, recto; text, verso), folio from a manuscript of the Shahnama by Firdawsi
Classification
Manuscripts
Work Type
manuscript folio
Date
1562
Places
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran, Shiraz
Period
Safavid period
Culture
Persian
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/165371
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
37.1 x 24 cm (14 5/8 x 9 7/16 in.)
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.
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
2002.50.40
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
King Hurmuzd was deceived into suspecting his son, Khusraw Parviz, of rebellion. Forewarned of his father’s plan to put him to death, Khusraw escaped from Iran. Hurmuzd, suspecting his brothers Gushtaham and Banduy of siding with Khusraw, imprisoned them. With the king dispirited and in seclusion, however, the prisoners escaped, armed themselves, and rode to the royal palace, where their troops blinded the king.
The illustration depicts the gruesome moment when hot iron rods are put to Hurmuzd’s eyes. Instead of armed rebels, those who observe this scene are court officials, who display little emotion. Moreover, three women on the palace balcony seem entirely unaware of the event.

Published Catalogue Text: In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art , written 2013
90 A–B

Double page: Gushtaham and Banduy Blind Hurmuzd
A. Verso: text, with title “A brand is applied to King Hurmuzd’s eyes”
Folio: 37.1 × 23.7 cm (14 5/8 × 9 5/16 in.)
2002.50.132
B. Recto: text and illustration
Folio: 37.1 × 24 cm (14 5/8 × 9 7/16 in.)
2002.50.40

King Hurmuzd was deceived into suspecting his son, Khusraw Parviz, of rebellion. Forewarned of his father’s plan to put him to death, Khusraw escaped from Iran. Hurmuzd, suspecting his brothers Gushtaham and Banduy of siding with Khusraw, imprisoned them. With the king dispirited and in seclusion, however, the prisoners escaped, armed themselves, and rode to the royal palace, where their troops blinded the king.

The illustration depicts the gruesome moment when hot iron rods are put to Hurmuzd’s eyes. Instead of armed rebels, those who observe this scene are court officials, who display little emotion. Moreover, three women on the palace balcony seem entirely unaware of the event.

Mika M. Natif

Publication History

Mary McWilliams, ed., In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2013), p. 234, cat. 90 A-B, ill.

Exhibition History

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

Related Works

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