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Opaque watercolor, gold, and ink on paper
Page: 20.3 x 12 cm (8 x 4 3/4 in.)
Gift in honor of Madeline Neves Clapp; Gift of Mrs. Henry White Cannon by exchange; Bequest of Louise T. Cooper; Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund; From the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection 2013.283.1.a
This illustrated page from a Shah-nama depicts the first adventure of the hero Bijan, son of an Iranian knight. When reports arrived at the king’s court of wild boars ravaging the borderlands between the enemy realms of Iran and Turan, Bijan volunteered to hunt and kill the beasts, much to the chagrin of his father, who doubted his young son’s ability to navigate the politically volatile situation.
The fearless Bijan is shown on horseback as he singlehandedly strikes down on the bodies of the wild boars in the brush. After overzealously celebrating his success, Bijan must be rescued from a pit by Rustam. This early manuscript from the Deccan made for the sultan of Bijapur is characterized by glowing colors and lavish use of gold.
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