Kai Khusrau Crosses the Jihun, from the Shahnama of Firdausi

Accession Number

Kai Khusrau Crosses the Jihun, from the Shahnama of Firdausi


Artist Nationality

Object Creation Date
circa 1460

Medium & Support
ink, opaque watercolor, and gold leaf on paper

10 1/2 in. x 7 1/16 in. ( 26.7 cm x 18 cm )

Subject matter
When Giv and Kai Khusrau had reached the stream
In haste to cross they wrangled with the toll-man. …
Giv said to him: “Demand whate’er thou wilt,
But let us cross because a host approacheth.”
The officer, on hearing this from Giv,
Became extortionate …
Giv answered him: “O thou of broken wits!
Thou wouldst have toll: then take it in the river!
The stream for us, the ferryboat for thee:
‘Twill not be easy to collect thy fee!”
Giv told the prince: "If thou art Kai Khusrau
The stream will favour thee. …
If I, or if thy mother should be drowned,
Grieve not. For thee I lived because the throne
Of king of kings was naught. …
Then Kai Khusrau replied: “So be it. Enough.” …
He spake, and radiant as the morning star
Bestrode his sable steed, took to the water,
Reached like a boat the toll-house opposite,
And issued from the bed of the Jihun
With his gallant Giv and Farangis behind him.

Physical Description
This Persian miniature is attributed to the Shiraz and Timurid schools, ca. 1460. The painting is done in ink, opaque watercolor and gold leaf on paper. The scene, Kai Khusrau Crosses the Jihun, is part of the Shahnama of Firdausi, the Persian book of kings. 

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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Iranian Islamic painting styles after the Mongols
Iranian Islamic styles after the Mongols
Persian-Farsi (language)
Timurid painting styles
calligraphy (visual works)
gold leaf
gouaches (paintings)
men on horseback
miniatures (paintings)
watercolor painting (technique)

11 Related Resources

Arts from Persia and Iran
(Part of: Ancient and Classical Civilizations)
Before 1492
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
(Part of 5 Learning Collections)
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
PAST: ENGLISH 124 sec 006: The Spirit of Adventure
(Part of: FFW Lower Level Study Cases     )
Visual Adaptations of Literature
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Shahnama, the Persian Book of Kings
(Part of: Shahnama, The Persian Book of Kings     )
Visual Cultures of Islam- Manuscripts 
(Part of: Visual Cultures of Islam )
(Part of: Exchange and Influence on Global Trade Routes)

& Author Notes

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