Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | Shahnama of Ferdowsi

Manuscript F, no. 5-272

Rostam Slays Šaghād then Dies

Location: Current whereabouts unknown. Formerly in the Kraus Collection, New York.
Page: not known
not known
Text area: not known
Not signed.

The composition is essentially a simplified version in mirror image of an earlier painting by Moʿin, ms.D, f.53. The pit is depicted on the left as a round-headed arch, inside of which is solid black. Within the black confine Rostam is seated on his tan colored horse Raḵš, which is still standing but impaled on many pointed blades that pierce its body. Little blood and no sign of agony is evident, and curiously, none of the blades pierce or even touch Rostam. The Iranian hero, dressed in his familiar tiger skin coat and leopard skin headdress, has turned toward the rear (the right of the painting) and shot an arrow. On the right, beyond the pit, is the trunk of a tree, behind which Shaghåd, dressed in an orange tunic, has sought protection. The arrow, however, has passed through the tree trunk and penetrated the body of Šaghåd.

There are four columns of text above and below the painting. A chapter title that is captivated within in the two center columns below the painting. A rectangular ruled frame encloses illustration and text, except on the top, where a branch of the tree violates the frame and protrudes from behind the text into the upper margin. The painting has suffered from abrasion and flaking, and the head and features of Šaghåd have been crudely retouched. It is not signed or dated, and the photo is old and of poor quality. Nevertheless it is in the Mo¯in style and a definite relationship with an earlier authenticated version (ms.D, f.53) is clearly evident. Yet the quality is obviously inferior in composition and execution to that earlier painting, and to his other substantiated work. It may be the work of an assistant who executed most or all of the painting under the direction of the master.

For a later version of this same subject by Moʿin see ms.G, f.282.

Painting references:

Text references:

Warner, V, pp.271-73. Mohl, IV, p.578. Levy, pp.216-17..

Photo by the author

Robert Eng

Last Updated: July 14, 2015 | Originally published: July 14, 2015