Ilkhanid Illustration
Rustam Rescues Bijan (Bizhan) from the Well
[Rustam removes the stone from the mouth of Bizhan's pit]

from the 1341 Inju Shahnama, Shiraz


A larger image of Rustam Rescues Bijan from the Well. 1341 Shahnama - Inju Dynasty, Shiraz.


Folio from a Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi (died 1020); recto: text and illustration: Rustam rescues Bijan from the well; verso: text.
Detached folio from a dispersed copy of the Shahnama (Book of kings) by Firdawsi; text: Persian in black and red naskh script; illustration and text: Rustam rescues Bijan from the well, 6 columns, 21 lines; reverse: text, 6 columns, 30 lines; one of a group of 7 folios.

Historical period: Inju dynasty, Mongol period, February 1341 (Ramadan 741 A.H.)
Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions: H x W: 14.8 x 23.4 cm (5 13/16 x 9 3/16 in)
Geography: Iran, Shiraz
Accession Number: F1945.7
Classification: Manuscript
Type: Detached manuscript folio
Label: The story of the Persian hero Bizhan and the Turanian princess Manizha, the daughter of Afrasiyab, is a rare romantic interlude in the feuds between Iran and Turan in the Shahnama (Book of kings), the Persian national epic. When the Turanian tyrant Afrasiyab finds out about his daughter's love for Bizhan, he captures the youth and imprisons him in a well. This fourteenth-century illustration depicts the final episode in the romance, when Rustam comes to Bizhan's aid. According to Firdawsi, when Rustam's companions are unable to move the rock covering the well, "With a prayer to the creator to be granted strength, he [Rustam] stretched out his hand and without a moment's delay lifted the boulder, which he threw into the forest in the land of China, thus causing the whole surface of the earth to quake."
Source: Freer | Sackler



Washington, D.C., Freer Gallery of Art
Title of Work: Shahnama (1341)
Manuscript: F1942.11-12, 1945.7, 1948.15, 1952.35
Accession Number: F1945.7
Chapter 13e - Bizhan and Manizha
Scene: Rustam removes the stone from the mouth of Bizhan's pit
Rubric: 1145
Dimensions (h x w): 140 x 234 mm
Format: Stepped within borders
Reconstructed Folio: 125r
Hijri Date: 741 Dhu'l-Qa'da 20
Gregorian Date: 1341 May 14
School: Shiraz, Iran
Project Notes: Merged with other images from Inju ms.
Source: Shahnama Project

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