Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | Shahnama of Ferdowsi

Manuscript D, folio 163

Ḵarād, Son of Barzin, Reveals All Things to Hormozd

The conservative rectangular format lacks the vibrancy and originality evident in most of the other paintings in the manuscript that are irregular in shape with bold extensions into the margins. The composition, too, is rather straight forward, apparently representing a meeting between Shah Hormozd and Ḵarād, son of Barzin, who is reporting events that have taken place in the camp of Bahrām Čubina. The shah is seated astride a brown horse in the right center of the painting, wearing a yellow-orange coat and a crown adossed with feathers, the maroon and gold umbrella of state held aloft over his head by a mounted attendant that rides behind him on the far right. Accompanying the shah are three mounted nobles who flank him in the lower right; they all wear turbans and are dressed in maroon, light yellow, and orange. A diminutive groom, clad in maroon, appears in the center foreground, his lower extremities cropped by the frame. On the left side of the composition, opposite the shah, Ḵarād is seated on a black horse gesturing with his hands as if conversing. He wears a gray coat, pointed steel helmet wrapped with an orange band, and quivers that hang prominently from his belt. Apparently accompanying him are four personage tightly grouped together in the lower left foreground, all clean shaven and wearing fur trimmed hats. The setting is a sloping hillside that rises to a rocky crest near the top. A few bushes and small trees grow from the crest and appear silhouetted against a variegated blue sky executed in a wash technique in the distant background.

There is a single line of four column text above the paintig, and another line below the painting. A rectangular ruled frame encloses painting and text. The painting is signed in the center of the lower margin with miniscule characters in Moʿin’s handwriting: ze towfiq s̱ānʿe raqam zad moʿin (Drawn with the grace of the Maker by Moʿin). Not dated.

Painting references:
Cambridge Shahnameh Project

Text references:
Warner, VIII, pp.160-61.
Levy, p.347.
Davis, Shahnameh_2007, pp.760-61.

Robert Eng
Last Updated: August 7, 2012 | Originally published: May 7, 2003

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