- Museum number
Series: Big Head
Kay Khusrau and Fariburz; single manuscript page mounted on detached folio. From the Big-Head Shahnameh of Firdawsi. Kay Khusrau seated on his throne, while Fariburz, wearing a white turban with feather, kneels to the right. Chained prisoners stand in the bottom left corner and seated men to the right. Sixteen men in total. Four columns of text above image with title crossing the two centre columns.
Ink and opaque watercolour on paper.
- Production date
- 1493-1494 (AH 899)
Height: 15.40 centimetres (image)
Height: 34.40 centimetres (sheet)
Height: 7.90 centimetres (writing (recto))
Height: 23.10 centimetres (writing (verso))
Width: 15.30 centimetres (image)
Width: 24.40 centimetres (sheet)
Width: 15.30 centimetres (writing (recto))
Width: 15.20 centimetres (writing (verso))
- Curator's comments
- After taking the fortress of Bahman and winning the Iranian throne, Kay Khusrau received his rival Fariburz, depicted here kneeling at the right of his throne. This painting comes from a Shahnameh produced for Sultan Ali Mirza, ruler of the Caspian province of Gilan.
King Kay Kavus promised the throne to the one of two rivals, Kay Khusrau and Fariburz, who could successfully storm the fortress of Bahman. With divine intervention the castle wall collapsed and Kay Khusrau won the crown. Here Fariburz kneels before Kay Khusrau while prisoners from the fortress parade before them.
Fariburz and Kay Khusrau were rivals for the Iranian throne. To determine who would prevail, King Kay Kavus promised the throne to the one who could storm the enemy fortress of Bahman. Eventually with divine intervention the castle wall collapsed, and Kay Khusrau won the crown.
The manuscript was commissioned by the Sultan ʿAli Mirza of Gilan, and was produced in two volumes, of which one, is currently in Istanbul.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2010-2011 Sep-Jan, Cambridge, The Fitzwilliam Museum, 'Epic of the Persian Kings'
- Associated titles
Associated Title: 'Big-Head Shahnameh' of Firdausi
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased from Sotheby's, 29/30th April, 1992, lot 297.
- Middle East
- Registration number