Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | Shahnama of Ferdowsi

Manuscript B, no. 6-052

Eskandar Comforts the Dying Dārā

Location: Current whereabouts unknown
34.5 x 21.2 cm.
24.3 x 11.4 cm.
Text area:
28.5 x 14.0 cm.
Signature Centered in the lower margin, raqam-e kamina moʿin-e moṣavver.

When the Iranian king Dārā was defeated in battle by Eskandar, known in the West as Alexander the Great, he sued for peace. Two of his ministers, however, thought that they could gain land and favors from Eskandar if they murdered Dārā. When news of their deed reached Eskandar's ears, he rushed to be with Dārā. He was unable to save his foe, who was also his half-brother in the Shahnama but did try to comfort him. The scene portrays Eskandar holding Dārā in his lap while soldiers, elderly sages, and two bareheaded youthful mourners observe with sad expressions. A groom similar to the one in several of the David Collection Shahnama illustrations stands with two horses in the right background next to an imposing leafy tree.

Cf. Ms.G, f.292 for another depiction by Moʿin of this same episode.

Painting references:
London 19 April 1983, Lot 119 (ill.)
Canby_ Journal_2010, p.74 no.36.

Text references:
Warner, VI, pp.52-55;
Mohl, V, pp.70-73; Levy, p.236..

Photo: after Sotheby's sale catalog

Sheila R. Canby
Last Updated: September 25, 2014 | Previously published Eng: March 31, 2011 | Originally published Canby: 2010