Collection online

painting / manuscript

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Rustam slaying the White Div; single-page painting mounted on detached album folio. From an illustrated manuscript of the Shahnama of Firdawsi. Rustam stabs the White Div, whose left leg has been cut off, in a cave beneath a hilly landscape and a large tree.
    Ink, opaque watercolour and gold on paper.


  • School/style

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1576-1577 (circa)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Width: 33 centimetres (sheet)
    • Height: 45.8 centimetres (sheet)
    • Width: 21.5 centimetres (painting)
    • Height: 31.8 centimetres (painting)
  • Curator's comments

    On his hazardous journey to Mazandaran, Rustam underwent repeated tests of strength, known as the 'Seven Courses'. Told that divs (demons) sleep at midday, Rustam entered the White Div's cave and engaged him in a ferocious battle. Plucking out the div's liver, the hero Rustam prevailed in the end.

  • Bibliography

    • Canby 1993 p. 92, fig. 59 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    2016-17 26 Nov – 2 Apr, London, BM, G34, Iranian Voices

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Middle East

  • Registration number


Miniature. General subject - epic. Rustam killing the white Div,from the Sháhnáma of Firdausí. On paper.

Miniature. General subject - epic. Rustam killing the white Div,from the Sháhnáma of Firdausí. On paper.

Image description



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: RFM690

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help