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Leaf from the Shahnama (Book of Kings)

Leaf from the Shahnama (Book of Kings), 14th century; Ilkhanid Firdausi, Author Iraq or Iran Ink, colors, and gold on paper

Leaf from the Shahnama (Book of Kings), 14th century; Ilkhanid Firdausi, Author Iraq or Iran Ink, colors, and gold on paper

The legendary death of the Sasanian king Yazdegerd I—who was said to have been kicked by a horse that magically emerged from a spring—is charmingly depicted in this leaf from a dispersed manuscript of the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdausi, one of a few codices of small dimensions. The attribution is uncertain either to Iraq or Iran in the Ilkhanid period. The decoratively curving tree and the grassy verge of the groundline, which rings the water, are traditional; the funguslike growths are derived from Chinese art and the costumes are Mongol. The gestures of the figures at the left register astonishment and dismay.

  • shahnama islam
  • islamic arabesque wood

About the Author
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded on April 13, 1870, in the City of New York. The Museum's collection of Islamic art ranges in date from the seventh to the nineteenth century. Its nearly twelve thousand objects reflect the great diversity and range of the cultural traditions of Islam, with works from as far westward as Spain and Morocco and as far eastward as Central Asia and India. Comprising sacred and secular objects, the collection reveals the mutual influence of artistic practices such as calligraphy, and the exchange of motifs such as vegetal ornament (the arabesque) and geometric patterning in both realms.
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  1. It’s par excellence work that people involved in researching in Islamic Heritage have opened soo many details for the rest of the world,I’m totally impressed.Thank you for it has made my work easier,I’m a Textile Designer,so to know anything about our rich heritage,culture is such a pleasure and inspirational.

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