Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | Shahnama of Ferdowsi

Manuscript C, folio 214v

Kay Ḵosrow Throws Šida to the Ground and Kills Him

The two protagonists, Shah Kay Ḵosrow and Šida, son of Afrāsiyāb, battle in the center foreground. Šida is on the ground, his helmet and shield dislodged and laying alongside him; the shah is over him straddling his waist, one hand on the Turānian’s neck to hold him down, and plunging a large dagger deep into his chest with the other hand. The shah wears a purple knee length coat decorated with arabesques, a jewel encrusted crown adorned with feathers, arm and leg guards, and a sword and quiver case hanging from his belt. Nine other personage and three horses are portrayed in the composition. Three soldiers with standards stand observing on the left side, another on the right side, and the head and shoulders of two more in the extreme right foreground, their lower extremities cropped by the frame. The head of a black horse and its groom appears in the left foreground; two more horses and grooms are beyond the ridge in the background. All of the grooms are portrayed in profile. The setting is comprised of a barren sloping mauve hillside that rises to a rocky crest near the top, with a single tree growing in the upper left that spreads its branches across the top of the composition, and beyond it in the extreme background, a dark sky that connotates evening or night.

There are two lines of single column text in the upper right corner, and five lines of four column text below the painting. A ruled frame encloses illustration and text; two standards and one helmet violate the frame and protrude into the left and right margins. The painting is signed in the center of the lower margin in miniscule characters in Moʿin’s handwriting: ze towfiq ṣānʿe raqam zad kamina moʿin (Drawn with the grace of the Maker, by the most humble Moʿin). The inscription is not dated.

For another version of this scene by Moʿin
see Ms. G, f214.

Painting references:
Welch, AK4_1978, p.90, Ms.22, folio 214v (not ill.).
Text references:

Warner, IV, p.175-76. Mohl, IV, p.48.

Robert Eng
Last Updated: July 14, 2011 | Originally published:
July 14, 2011

Photo: © Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Geneva