Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | Shahnama of Ferdowsi

Manuscript B, no. 3-

Kay Ḵosrow Sends Rostam to India

Location: The Israel Museum, Jerusalem #B69-0626. Formerly in the Davud Collection.
Page: 35.4 x 21.8 cm.
13.0 x 12.1 cm. including extensions between the columns. (scaled)
Text area: 28.7 x 14.3 cm.
Signature: The painting is signed on the forward edge of the throne, raqam-e kamina moʿin-e moṣavver.

Shortly after Kay Ḵosrow's return to Iran and coronation, Rostam came to him and explained how the Turanians had seized Zabulistan, his own kingdom, and how he wished to regain it for Iran. The subject is not a popular choice amongst illustrations of the Shahnama, perhaps because there is no real story, nor any dramatic or romantic interest that can be attached to the episode. The painting is small in relation to the text on the page, and in comparison with the size of other paintings from the manuscript. It appears more like a space filler than a revealing illustration. Kay Ḵosrow heartily agreed that Rostam and the other great paladins should muster an army and march on Zabulistan, in what is today Afghanistan, but was considered part of India in the Shahnama. Although this page is not immediately in the sequence from which Rostam Kills the White Div (ms.B,no.2-059) and Rostam Discovers Soḥrāb's Identity (ms.B,no.2-172) were removed, it is another image featuring Rostam and as such would have been more saleable than some of the more obscure miniatures.

Painting references:
Milstein,Israel_1984, pp.86 and 88, no.64 (ill. in color).
Cambridge Shahnameh Project (not illustrated)
Canby_ Journal_2010, p.66 no.13 and fig.7.

Text references:
Warner, III, pp.30-31
; Levy, pp.108-09.

Photo: © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Sheila R. Canby
Last Updated: May 11, 2014 | Previously published Eng: April 13, 2011 | Originally published Canby: 2010