- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
- Rustam and the Iranians Hunt in Afrasiyab’s Preserves (text, recto and verso), folio from a manuscript of the Shahnama by Firdawsi
- Work Type
- manuscript folio
- Creation Place: Middle East, Iran, Shiraz
- Safavid period
- Persistent Link
- Physical Descriptions
- Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
- 37.2 x 24 cm (14 5/8 x 9 7/16 in.)
- [Christies, London, 17 October 1995, lot no. 79]. [Mansour Gallery, London, before 1998], sold; to 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
- Object Number
- Asian and Mediterranean Art
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- Verso: The text corresponds with Mohl, vol. 2, lines 518 - 572. The verses describe Kay Kavus regretting his foolish exploits, the gathering of the Champions, and their hunting expedition.
Published Catalogue Text: In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art , written 2013
Double page: Rustam and the Iranians Hunt in Afrasiyab’s Preserves
A. Verso: text, with title “Rustam banquets and goes to the hunting ground”
Folio: 37.2 × 24 cm (14 5/8 × 9 7/16 in.)
B. Recto: text and illustration
Folio: 37.2 × 23.8 cm (14 5/8 × 9 3/8 in.)
While Rustam was resting and feasting during a break from battle, one of his mighty companions, known as champions, suggested that they go hunting in the territory of their enemy, Afrasiyab, the king of Turan. After a week spent enthusiastically poaching animals and birds, Rustam fully expected retribution from the king, and he was unconcerned when Afrasiyab bore down on the Iranian interlopers with an army of thirty thousand men. Each of his champions, Rustam said, was the equal of five hundred of Afrasiyab’s men.
The lively illustration shows the Iranians hunting, before Afrasiyab’s arrival compels them to resume battle. A group of riders, wearing distinctive Safavid headgear, pursues a host of animals: deer, leopards, rams, and wild onagers. The archer at the upper left is identified as Rustam by his characteristic tiger-skin coat and leopard helmet.
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)
- Exhibition History
The Sport of Kings: Art of the Hunt in Iran and India, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/22/2005 - 06/26/2005
32Q: 2550 Islamic, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/07/2018 - 04/17/2019
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org