Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | Shahnama of Ferdowsi

Manuscript D, folio 83v

The Death of Eskandar

Eskandar died suddenly of natural causes in Babylon, where the multitude, Rumi and Iranian alike were bereaved and saddened. The painting shows the conqueror's casket containing his body being transported aloft across the plain by men, nd only men, of all persuasions -- bearded, clean shaven, young, old. The faces are for the mostpart typical Moin. Some have their arms raised in a sign of dismay, others have removed their turbans. In the lower right Eskandar's saddled horses are being led by two grooms. The composition is the typical conservative rendering of the scene, with little originality and confined to the limits of the frame, and none of the exhuberance of some of the other paintings in this manuscript.

Painting: 25.5 x 12.3 cm entirely enclosed with rectangular ruled frame. Two lines of single column text in top right corner, and two lines of one column text in the bottom left corner. The painting is signed in the lower margin in miniscule characters in Moʿin’s hand: ze towfiq ṣānʿe raqam zad moʿin (Drawn with the grace of the Maker by the most humble Moʿin). No date.

Painting references: Cambridge Shahnameh Project
Text references: Warner, VI, pp.183-84. Mohl, V, p.204.

Robert Eng
Last Updated: January 12, 2011

Photo: © The Trustees of The Chester Beatty Library, Dublin