The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of May 22, 2024

Bahram Gur Arrives at the House of a Merchant, text page (recto); Bahram Gur Slays a Dragon (verso), from a Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdausi (940-1019 or 1025), known as the Great Mongol Shahnama

Bahram Gur Arrives at the House of a Merchant, text page (recto); Bahram Gur Slays a Dragon (verso), from a Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdausi (940-1019 or 1025), known as the Great Mongol Shahnama

1330–35
Sheet: 45.8 x 34.4 cm (18 1/16 x 13 9/16 in.)
Location: not on view

Did You Know?

The Shahnama is an epic poem that traces the fortunes of heroes and kings, of lovers and enemies.

Description

In this intense painting, Bahram Gur plunges his sword into the breast of a dragon. A favorite character from Iran's pre-Islamic history, Bahram Gur (reigned 420–38) was a popular ruler of the Sassanian dynasty and a great hunter. He took the name "Gur," meaning onager (a wild ass), because it was his preferred game, although he also excelled at killing dragons. As evidenced by this illustration's rock formations, tree trunk, and dragon, Iranian painting in the Mongol period borrowed numerous stylistic and spatial elements from Chinese models. With the surging landscape and writhing dragon rendered with equal energy, this is a picture of extraordinary unity and concentration.
  • c. 1910–?
    (Georges Demotte [1877–1923], New York, NY)
    Wells
    before 1943
    Grace Rainey Rogers [1867–1943], New York, NY
    ?–1943
    (Heeramaneck Galleries, New York, NY, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art)
    1943–
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Komaroff, Linda, and Stefano Carboni. The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256-1353. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2002. 257 and 160
    Curatola, Giovanni, and Gianroberto Scarcia. Iran: l'arte persiana. Milano: Jaca Book, 2004. 198-199
    Exhibition of Persian Art (1931, London). Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art: 7th Jan. to 28th Feb., 1931. 1931.
    Erdman, Kurt. "La Mostra d'arte Persiana a Londra." Dedalo XI (April 1931). 826
    Royal Academy of Arts (Great Britain), Laurence Binyon, Basil Gray, and J. V. S. Wilkinson. Persian Miniature Painting. Including a Critical and Descriptive Catalogue of the Miniatures Exhibited at Burlington House, January-March, 1931. By Laurence Binyon, J.V.S. Wilkinson and Basil Gray. London: Oxford University Press, 1933.
    Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.), and Dimand, Maurice Sven. A Guide to an Exhibition of Islamic Miniature Painting and Book Illumination / by M. S. Dimand. New York : The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1933. .
    Lorey, E. de. ""L'Ecole de Tabriz." Revue des Arts Asiatiques I (1935).
    Schroeder, Eric. "Ahmed Musa and Shams al-Din: A Review of Fourteenth Century Painting." Ars Islamica VI, pt 2 (1939). 132-133
    Iranian Institute of America (New York, N.Y.), and Phyllis Ackerman. Guide to the Exhibition of Persian Art : ... New York, 1940. New York (N.Y.): > Iranian Institute, 1940. 246
    Parke-Bernet Galleries. French XVIII Century Furniture, Paintings, Drawings, Etc., Collection of Grace Rainey Rogers 1943/11/18-20. [N.Y.]: [Parke-Bernet galleries, Inc., auctioneers], 1943. 140
    Dimand, M.S. "An Exhibition of Islamic and Indian Paintings." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art XIV (Dec. 1955). 88
    Istituto italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente (Roma). Mostra D'arte Iranica: Catalogo, Palazzo Brancaccio, Roma, Giugno-Agosto 1956 = Exhibition of Iranian Art : Catalogue, Palazzo Brancaccio, Roma, June-August 1956. Milano: Silvana editoriale d'arte, 1956.
    University of Michigan. Persian Art Before and After the Mongol Conquest [Exhibition] April 9-May 17, 1959, the University of Michigan, Museum of Art, Ann Arbor. 1959. .
    Paris. Sept mille ans d'art en Iran: [exposition], Petit Palais, octobre 1961-janvier 1962. Paris: Petit Palais, 1962. 192
    Rosenzweig, Daphne Lange. "Stalking the Persian Dragon: Chinese Prototypes for Miniature Representations." Kunst des Orients XII 1/2 (1978-1979). 151-176
    Grabar, Oleg, and Sheila Blair. Epic Images and Contemporary History: The Illustrations of the Great Mongol Shahnama. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1980. 154-155
    Williams, Marjorie. "Dragons, Porcelains and Demons: Cultural Exchange Between China and Persia." Orientations vol. 18 no. 8 (August 1986). 86
    Lentz, Thomas W. Timur and the Princely Vision: Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century : [Exhibition, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., 16.04.-06.07.1989 ... Etc.]. [S.l.]: [s.n.], 1989. 53
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art Handbook. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1958. Mentioned and Reproduced: cat. no. 720 archive.org
    Persian Art Before And After the Mongol Conquest.: [Exhibition] April 9-May 17, 1959. the University of Michigan, Museum of Art, Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, Museum of Art, 1959. Mentioned: cat. no. 148, p. 43
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1966. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1966. Reproduced: p. 221 archive.org
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1969. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1969. Reproduced: p. 221 archive.org
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1978. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978. Reproduced: p. 278 archive.org
    Komaroff, Linda, and Stefano Carboni, eds. The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256-1353. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art; New Haven: Yale University Press [distributor], 2002. Reproduced: cat no. 56, p. 257, fig. 187, p. 160
    Curatola, Giovanni, and Gianroberto Scarcia. Iran: l'arte persiana. Milano: Jaca Book, 2004. Reproduced: fig.162, pp. 198-199
    Hagedorn, Annette, and Norbert Wolf. Islamic Art. Hong Kong: Taschen, 2009. Reproduced: fig. 16, p. 18
    Hillenbrand, Robert. "Color in the Great Mongol Shahnama." In Manuscripts in the Making: Art & Science. Stella Panayotova and Paola Ricciardi. London; Turnhout: Harvey Miller, 2017. Reproduced: p. 217; ill. 3
    Coffey, Heather. "Collapsing Geography and Orientalizing Pigment in a Fourteenth-Century Chromoshpere: Italian Painting and Ilkhanid Ceramics." In The Seas and the Mobility of Islamic Art. Radha Dalal, Sean E. Roberts, and Jochen A. Sokoly eds., 38-53. Biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art and Culture, 2021. New Haven: Yale University Press; [Ar-Rayyan, Qatar]: in association with Qatar Foundation; [Richmond, Virginia]: Virginia Commonwealth University; [Education City, Doha, Qatar]: and Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar, 2021. Mentioned and reproduced: P. 47, fig. 2.5
  • Islamic Gallery Rotation (gallery 116). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (October 30, 2018–January 4, 2019).
    Islamic art rotation. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (December 16, 2013-December 15, 2014).
    The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia 1256-1353. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (organizer) (October 28, 2002-February 16, 2003); Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (April 13-July 27, 2003).
    The Twain Shall Meet. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (October 30, 1985-January 5, 1986).
    Persian Miniature Manuscripts. The Scottish Arts Council Gallery, Edinburgh, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (organizer) (August 13-September 11, 1977).
    Imperial Images in Persian Painting. The Scottish Arts Council, Edinburgh, Scotland (August 13-September 11, 1977).
    The Classical Style in Islamic Painting. The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY (organizer) (November 1, 1968-January 4, 1969).
    Muslim Miniature Paintings. Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, Italy, Venezia, Italy (organizer) (September 1-October 31, 1962); The Asia Society Museum, New York, NY (December 4, 1962-February 3, 1963).
    Muslim Miniature Paintings from American Collections. Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, Italy; Asia House, New York, NY (September 1962-February 1963).
    The Exhibition of Persian Art: 7000 Years of Art in Iran. Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France (organizer) (October 19, 1961-January 31, 1962).
    7000 Ans d'art en Iran. Petit Palais, Paris, France (October-November 1961).
    Persian Art Before and After the Mongol Conquest. University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI (organizer) (April 9-May 17, 1959).
    Exhibition of Persian Art. Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, Rome, Italy (May-October 1956).
    Islamic and Indian Miniature Paintings and Manuscripts. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (December 15, 1955-February 19, 1956).
    The World of Miniature Painting. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (September 20-November 10, 1953).
    Persian Decorative Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (January 15-March 16, 1952).
    Islamic Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (November 3, 1944-February 2, 1945).
    Persian Art. Iranian Institute, New York, NY (1940).
    Islamic Miniature Painting and Book Illumination. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (October 9, 1933-January 7, 1934).
    International Exhibition of Persian Art. Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (January 7-February 28, 1931).
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Source URL:

https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1943.658