Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | Shahnama of Ferdowsi

Manuscript E, no. 2-050

Rostam's Third Feat: He Slays a Dragon

Location: Current whereabouts unknown
30.5 x 19.5 cm (all dimensions after Sothebys)
26.0 x 14.0 cm. including vertical extensions between text columns.
Text area: 26.0 x 14.0 cm.
Text: four column; deepest column 20 lines on a 30 line per full page matrix.
Illustration number: The number 16 in Arabic numerals is written on the reverse side of this page. Presumably, this illustration would therefore be number 15. What appears to be possibly a 5 appears in the extreme left margin, just above center. The page has been trimmed, and perhaps the numeral 1 that constituted the [1]5 was lost in the trimming.

The composition is rather simple and straightforward: a spirited red dragon with flaming appendages, an animated pink Raḵš, on which the mighty Rostam swings his sword to cleave the head of the invincible dragon. The setting is a nondescript light mauve hillside with a rocky crest on which some small green shrubs are evenly dispersed. A blue wash sky, typical of Moʿin, is in the far distance.

There are four columns of text above and below the main part of the painting. Signed in the center of the lower margin: raqam-e kamina moʿin-e moṣavver.

Ms. E, no. 2-052 is on the verso of this leaf.

Painting references:
Sothebys London, 3 October 2012, Lot 72.

Text references:

Warner, II, p.50; Mohl, I, p.411.

Photo courtesy of Sothebys.

Robert Eng

Last Updated: April 30, 2013 | Originally published:
April 30, 2013