Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | Shahnama of Ferdowsi

Manuscript B, no. 3-230_1

Rostam Pulls the Ḵāqān of Čin from the Elephant

Location: Harvard Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Francis H. Burr Memorial Fund, 1941.293.
Formerly in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard.
35.5 x 21.4 cm.
28.2 x 14.2 cm. including painted spaces between the text columns but not extensions into right hand margein. With extension into margin 18.3 cm. (Scaled)
Text area: 28.2 x 14.2 cm.
Signature in the center of the lower margin: raqam-e kamina moʿin-e moṣavver.

Before the David Collection manuscript came to light, this illustration was identified as Rostam dragging the Ḵāqān of Čin from his elephant. The painting would have appeared immediately before folio 114b, since this image represents the Ḵāqān in the moment of his being pulled down, while the next illustration shows him only seconds later, slightly lower on the side of the elephant. The text is a variant (fn 41) but this passage does appear in some versions of the Shahnama. Moʿin Moṣavver shows the Ḵāqān of Čin dressed as a soldier in this illustration, whereas he is crowned in the next. Despite these anomalies, the two illustrations would have followed one on the other in the original manuscript.

Painting references:
Schroeder, Fogg_1941, p.147, #XXVII (ill.).
Grube, MMP_1962, #113 (ill.).
Stchoukine, SA_1964, p.65.
Cambridge Shahnameh Project

Canby_ Journal_2010, pp.67-68 no.17 and fig.8

Text references:

Warner, III, p.230
; Mohl, III, pp.159-60; Levy, p.138.

Photo: Katya Kallsen © President and Fellows of Harvard College

Sheila R. Canby

Last Updated: October 12, 2014 | Previously published Eng: March 29, 2011 | Originally published Canby: 2010