Rustam Shoots Asfandiyar, from the Shahnama of Firdausi

Accession Number

Rustam Shoots Asfandiyar, 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
Rustam Shoots Asfandiyar

Then Rustam quickly fitted to his bow
The tamarisk-shaft as the Simurgh had bidden; 
He struck Asfandiyar full in the eyes,
And all the world grew dark before that chief;
The straight-stemmed Cypress bent, intelligence
And Grace abandoned him. The pious prince
Fell prone, his bow of Chach dropped from his hands. 

He clutched his black steed by the mane and crest;
The battlefield was reddened with his blood.
Said Rustam: "Thou hast brought this evil seed 
To fruit! Thou art the man who said'st: 'My form 
Is brazen, and I dash high heaven to earth.' 
Yet through one arrow hast thou turned from strife, 
And fallen swooning on thy noble charger."

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, Rustam Shoots Asfandiyar, is part of the Shahnama of Firdausi, the Persian book of kings. 

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit 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)
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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