Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | Shahnama of Ferdowsi

Manuscript B, no. 5-133

The Fifth Stage of Esfandiyār: Esfandiyār Kills the Simorgh

Location: Private collection


Text area:

In this painting, Moʿin Moṣavver has depicted the mythical simorgh swooping dramatically down on an armored casket with sword blades protruding from its sides in which Esfandiyār was hiding. The simorgh attacked it and met its end when it was impaled on the blades. At the upper left on the pinnacle of a rocky crag sits a nest containing two young simorghs. In the foreground, a gray demon converses with a warrior, suggesting that Moʿin thought it appropriate to add demons to the illustrations in this section of the manuscript. Additionally, he has replaced the chariot of the story with a casket, perhaps to keep the composition from becoming too crowded or busy.

For a later version of this scene painted by Moʿin, see ms. E, 5-133

Painting references:
Robinson, Colnaghi_1976, p.78, no.55iv
Canby_ Journal_2010, p.73 no. 32.

Text references:

Warner, V, pp.131-34.

Photo: not illustrated

Sheila R. Canby

Last Updated: July 23, 2014 | Originally published: 2010

Photo not available