The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 28, 2024

Bahram Gur Arrives at the House of a Merchant, text page (recto), 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), 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.); Image: 19.5 x 29.5 cm (7 11/16 x 11 5/8 in.); Text area: 41 x 29.5 cm (16 1/8 x 11 5/8 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.
    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
    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
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art Handbook. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1958. Mentioned: cat. no. 720 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
  • The Classical Style in Islamic Painting. The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY (organizer) (November 1, 1968-January 4, 1969).
    Persian Miniature Manuscripts. The Scottish Arts Council Gallery, Edinburgh, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (organizer) (August 13-September 11, 1977).
    International Exhibition of Persian Art. Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (January 7-February 28, 1931).
    Islamic Miniature Painting and Book Illumination. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (October 9, 1933-January 7, 1934).
    Persian Art. Iranian Institute, New York, NY (1940).
    Islamic and Indian Miniature Paintings and Manuscripts. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (December 15, 1955-February 19, 1956).
    Exhibition of Persian Art. Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, Rome, Italy (May-October 1956).
    Islamic Art Exhibition. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (April 9-May 17, 1959).
    7000 Ans d'art en Iran. Petit Palais, Paris, France (October-November 1961).
    Muslim Miniature Paintings from American Collections. Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, Italy; Asia House, New York, NY (September 1962-February 1963).
    Imperial Images in Persian Painting. The Scottish Arts Council, Edinburgh, Scotland (August 13-September 11, 1977).
  • {{cite web|title=Bahram Gur Arrives at the House of a Merchant, text page (recto), from a Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdausi (940-1019 or 1025), known as the Great Mongol Shahnama|url=false|author=|year=1330–35|access-date=28 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL:

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