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Gurgin Fights with Andariman, from the Shahnama of Firdausi

Accession Number
1963/1.55

Title
Gurgin Fights with Andariman, from the Shahnama of Firdausi

Artist(s)
Iranian

Artist Nationality
Iranian

Object Creation Date
circa 1460

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

Dimensions
10 1/2 in. x 7 in. ( 26.7 cm x 17.8 cm )

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
At one point in the ongoing battle between Iran and Turan, the leading generals made a pact to resolve the war by placing ten champions from each side in one-on-one combat. Firdausi’s text describes in quick succession each of these encounters. After a series of seven victories for the Iranians,
Gurgin [who] was the eighth went out to fight
Andariman, one of the Turkmen host.
Experienced both and veteran they went
And chose a battlefield. …
Gurgin shot at Andariman a shaft
That pinned the Ruman helmet to his head,
And as the cavalier reeled with the smart,
Gurgin shot yet another, pierced his side,
And brought the blood-drops from his eyes with anguish.
Gurgin gat down like wind, took his foe’s head,
And strapped it to the saddle. Having mounted
He led the Turkman’s charger, and then scaled
In haste the hill, his bow slung on his arm.
Thus returned triumphantly
He setting the heart-illuming flag on high.
Warner, IV, 104–05
As is so often the case in this manuscript, the painter strives to be utterly faithful to the text; but the wintry trees are his own contribution and seem to sympathize with the fallen warrior.
———
Maribeth Graybill, Senior Curator of Asian Art
Exhibited in "A Medieval Masterpiece from Baghdad: the Ann Arbor Shahnama"
August 14 through December 19, 2004

Subject matter
Gurgin Fights with Andariman

Gurgin...went out to fight 
Andariman, one of the Turkman host.
Experienced both and veteran they went 
And chose a battlefield

...Gurgin shot at Andariman a shaft
That pinned the Ruman helmet to his head, 
And as a cavalier reeled with the smart, 
Gurgin shot yet another, pierced his side, 
And brought the blood-drops from his eyes with anguish.
Gurgin gat down like wind, took his foe's head,
And strapped it to the saddle. Having mounted 
He led the Turkman's charger, and then scaled 
In haste the hill, his bow slung on his arm...
Thus returned triumphantly 
He set the heart-illuming flag on high. 

Physical Description
Timurid miniature from the Shiraz and Timurid schools, ca. 1460. The painting is done in ink, opaque watercolor and gold leaf on paper. The scene depicts Gurgin Fights with Andariman from the Shahnama of Firdausi, the Persian book of kings. 

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
Iranian Islamic painting styles after the Mongols
Iranian Islamic styles after the Mongols
Persian-Farsi (language)
Shahnama
Timurid
Timurid painting styles
battle
gold leaf
gouache (paint)
miniatures (paintings)
shahs
watercolor painting (technique)

7 Related Resources

Arts from Persia and Iran
(Part of: Ancient and Classical Civilizations)
Before 1492
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Introduction to Manuscripts and Early Print
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
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 )

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display