Advanced Search

K-12 Educator
K-12 Student
Museum Visitor
UMMA Docent
UMMA Staff
University Faculty
University Student
Between and Mortarboard


UMMA Object Specific Fields






Query builder

The Young Shoemaker and the Lion Before Bahram Gur, from the Shahnama of Firdausi

Accession Number
1963/1.69

Title
The Young Shoemaker and the Lion Before Bahram Gur, 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
Of all the paintings in the Ann Arbor Shahnama, this is the only one to have a commoner as its protagonist and the only one that is outright comic.
. . . And thus it chanced:
A lion of the Shah’s had broken loose,
And came along the road. Now at the time
The shoemaker was still in drink—a sea
That made his fingers thumbs. He ran, bestrode
The roaring lion, and then reaching out
He clutched its ears. The lion had been fed;
The youth maintained his seat. Post-haste the keeper
Came running after them, a chain in one hand,
A lasso in the other.
Warner, VII, 24
The shoemaker is recognizable by his simple cap and bare feet, in contrast to the turbaned and booted nobles who line the approach to the palace. Bahram Gur watches the scene from his window, a finger to his lip revealing his amazement.
———
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
The Young Shoemaker and the Lion Before Bahram Gur 

...And thus it chanced:
A lion of the Shah's had broken loose,
And came along the road. Now at the time 
The shoemaker was still in drink--a sea
That made his fingers thumbs. He ran, best rode
The roaring lion, and then reaching out 
He clutched its ears. The lion had been fed;
The youth maintained his seat. Post-haste the keeper 
Came running after them, a chain in one hand, 
A lasso in the other. 

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, The Young Shoemaker and the Lion Before Bahram Gur, is part of 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
calligraphy (visual works)
gold leaf
gouaches (paintings)
lions
miniatures (paintings)
shahs
watercolor painting (technique)

8 Related Resources

Arts from Persia and Iran
(Part of: Ancient and Classical Civilizations)
Before 1492
(Part of 3 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 Historic Age
(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