Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | Shahnama of Ferdowsi

Manuscript C, folio 205v

Giv Brings Goruy Prisoner before Kay Ḵosrow

Shah Kay Ḵosrow is seated on a black horse in the upper right, listening to the Iranian warrior Giv, who stands before him presenting Goruy the Turānian as a prisoner. The shah wears a red coat, boots, and a crown adorned with feathers; the umbrella of state is held aloft over his head by a turbanned courtesan that stands behind him. On the left side of the composition the Iranian warrior Giv is standing at attention presenting his prisoner to the shāh; the severed heads of seven other Turānians lie in a pile on the ground at his feet. Goruy is portrayed bareheaded in the convention of a prisoner, with a stringy goethe and moustache, and a frown on his face. An Iranian guard stands behind him, partially cropped by the left frame. In the lower right foreground are two mounted Iranian soldiers with shields strapped to their backs. The setting is a barren sloping hillside that rises to a rocky crest in the traditional manner, with a fantastic rock outcropping near the top, from which a few small bushes emerge. The head of a groom, shown in profile, and a horse, peer over the ridge in the left background. Beyond the ridge is a dark sky signifying that it is a night scene.

There are two lines of four column text above the painting, and four columns below each consisting of two or three lines respectively. Signed and dated in the lower margin in miniscule characters in Moʿin’s hand: betāriḵ-e šanzdahom-e šahr-e šavvāl ba eqbāl sana 1065 ze towfiq āllāh yek jeld šāhnāma ba etmān rasid raqam zad kamina moʿin-e moṣavver. (One volume of this Shahnama was completed with the grace of God on the sixteenth of the month of Šavvāl in the year 1065/August 1655. Drawn by the most humble Moʿin Moṣavver).

Painting references:
Welch, AK4_1978, p.90, Ms.22, folio 205v (not ill.).
Text references:

Warner, IV, p.129.

Robert Eng
Last Updated: July 13, 2011 | Originally published:
July 13, 2011

Photo: © Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Geneva