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Illustrations from the Second Small Shahnama, Tabriz or Baghdad, c.1300 showing Ilkhanid Mongols


Faranak, Faridun and the cowherd
Chapter 5 - Zahhak
British Museum 1948-12-11-020

Sam receives Sindukht as envoy from the King
of Kabul
Chapter 7 - Manuchihr (120 years)
Aga Khan Museum

Rustam catches (the horse) Rakhsh
Chapter 10 - Garshasp
McGill University Library, Montreal, Persian 3

Rustam lifts Afrasiyab by the belt
Chapter 11 - Kay Qubad
Aga Khan Museum

Rakhsh, Rustam's Horse, Kills a Lion While His
Master Sleeps
Chapter 12 - Kay Kavus (150 years)
Minneapolis Institute of Art 51.37.10

Siyavush plays polo before Afrasiyab
Chapter 12d - Siyavush
Sothebys. Lot 81, 9 October 2013

The fourth combat: Furuhil fights Zangala
Chapter 13f - The Twelve Rukhs (champions)
Aga Khan Museum AKM84

The sixth combat: Bizhan fights Ruyin
Chapter 13f - The Twelve Rukhs (champions)
Sothebys. Lot 71, 2014

Gudarz kills Piran
Chapter 13f - The Twelve Rukhs (champions)
British Museum 1948-12-11-021

Zal reproaches Kay Khusrau
Chapter 13g - The Great War between
Kay Khusrau and Afrasiyab
Keir Collection of Islamic Art.

Gushtasp kills a dragon in Rum
Chapter 14 - Luhrasp
Albright-Knox Art Gallery 1935:15.4

Arjasp's Horsemen Killing Luhrasp
Chapter 15 - Gushtasp
Brooklyn Museum 86.227.131.1

Isfandiyar fights the Turanians
Chapter 15 - Gushtasp
British Museum, London, 1948,1211,0.22

Shah Shapur besieges the fortress of the
Arabian chieftain Taʾir in Yemen
Chapter 29 - Shapur Zul-aktaf
Aga Khan Museum AKM17

Bahram Gur at the Home of Baraham the Jew
Chapter 35 - Bahram Gur (1)
Brooklyn Museum of Art 86.227.130.1

Bahram Gur in a Peasant's House
Chapter 35 - Bahram Gur (1)
Brooklyn Museum of Art 36.239

Mihran Sitad asks the Khaqan to give his
daughter to Anushirvan as a wife
Chapter 41 - Kisra Anushirvan (48 years)
Sothebys. Lot 66, 3 October 2012

Bahram Chubina kills the monkey-lion
Chapter 43 - Khusrau Parviz (38 years)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 41.31a

Mubad-i Mubadan Brings Food to the
Captive Vizier Izad-i Gashasp
David Collection, Copenhagen, 12/1990
Although the arts of the book in Iran enjoyed great prestige prior to the Mongol invasion of the mid-thirteenth century, the earliest extant illustrated manuscripts date from the reign of the Ilkhanid dynasty (1256-1336). Among this group are several copies of the Shahnama (Book of kings), the Persian national epic. Composed in the year 1010 by the poet Firdawsi, the Shahnama recounts the stories of legendary and historical kings and heroes. Its colourful combination of fact and fantasy has meant that it is the most frequently illustrated text in Iran. The earliest known illustrated copies are referred to as the first and second "small" Shahnama, respectively.

The folios of the Second Small Shahnama are dispersed in a number of collections.



Other Illustrations of Ilkhanid Mongols and Successors in 14th Century Persia and surrounds

Persian Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
Index of Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers








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