Rustam Slays Shaghad and Dies, from the Shahnama of Firdausi

Accession Number

Rustam Slays Shaghad and Dies, 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 Slays Shaghad and Dies

Rakhsh sniffed fresh earth, spun like a ball, and shied, 
Suspicious of the smell, and tore the ground...

Two of his feet went through;
He had no purchase; all below was spear 
And sword; no pluck availed; escape was none;
And so the haunches of the mighty Rakhsh, 
Yet in his manhood he uplifted him, 
And from the bottom bravely gained the brim.

Shaghad drew near, uncased the bow, and strung it.
He drew it once, then laid it down by Rustam,
And laughed exulting at his brother's death.
The matchless hero clutched it lustily, 
Though tortured by the anguish of his wounds, 
What while Shaghad in terror at those arrows
Made haste to shield himself behind a tree...

When Rustam saw this he put forth his hands, 
Sore wounded as he was, and loosed a shaft.
He pinned his brother and the tree together...

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 Slays Shaghad and Dies, 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
gold leaf
gouaches (paintings)
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)
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 )
W19 Khan - ENG 398 - Islam in Graphic Novels
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)

& Author Notes

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