Page from a Shah-nama (Book of Kings) of Firdausi (Persian, about 934–1020)

Page from a Shah-nama (Book of Kings) of Firdausi (Persian, about 934–1020)

c. 1590-1600

Part of a set. See all set records

Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper

Image: 25.4 x 15.7 cm (10 x 6 3/16 in.); Overall: 31 x 20.1 cm (12 3/16 x 7 15/16 in.); Text area: 21 x 13.5 cm (8 1/4 x 5 5/16 in.)

Gift of John C. Heege 1960.199.a


This section of the Shah-nama is famous for the clever conversational repartee between Rustam and his opponent Ashkabus. When Ashkabus remarked that in choosing not to ride a horse Rustam had signed his own death warrant, Rustam retorted, “Would it be the case then that in your country . . . lions, tigers, and crocodiles [all] ride on horses to battle?” Rustam then brought down the horse of Ashkabus with a single arrow; his next arrow pierced Ashkabus in the chest.

See also
Islamic Art
Islamic Art
Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
Gift of John C. Heege

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