Kai Khusrau Slays Afrasiyab and Garsiwaz, from the Shahnama of Firdausi

Accession Number

Kai Khusrau Slays Afrasiyab and Garsiwaz, 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 in. ( 26.7 cm x 17.8 cm )

Subject matter
With Indian sword
He smote Afrasiyab upon the neck,
Then flung upon the dust the swarthy form,
Whose ears and hoary beard were red with blood,
While Garsiwaz his brother lost all hope. . . .
The cheeks of Garsiwaz were wan, his heart
Was full of trouble for Afrasiyab.
They dragged him from the jailors shamefully
In heavy bonds, on that his evil day,
Begirt with guards and executioners
As such a noted miscreant deserved.
When in sad plight he came before Khusrau,
With tears of blood upon his livid cheeks,
The Shah, the king of kings, . . .
… called an executioner who came
With trenchant sword unsheathed, and cruel heart,
And clave the chief asunder to the waist
While all the soldiers’ hearts were terror-stricken.

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 Slays Afrasiyab and Garsiwaz, 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)
miniatures (paintings)
watercolor painting (technique)

9 Related Resources

Arts from Persia and Iran
(Part of: Ancient and Classical Civilizations)
Before 1492
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Death and Dying
(Part of 8 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     )
The Age of Heroes 
(Part of: Shahnama, The Persian Book of Kings     )
Visual Cultures of Islam- Manuscripts 
(Part of: Visual Cultures of Islam )

& Author Notes

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