folio 246, verso Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Barzu Challenges Rustam, Rustam Suffers a Broken Shoulder (text recto; painting verso of folio 246), Illustrated folio from a manuscript of the Shahnama by Firdawsi
Work Type
manuscript folio
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
36.8 x 23.5 cm (14 1/2 x 9 1/4 in.)
George McFadden, New York, (by 1987-1988), sold; to José M.Soriano, New York, (1988-2014), gift; to the Harvard Art Museums, 2014.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of José M. Soriano in honor of Thomas W. Lentz and in memory of Stuart Cary Welch
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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This manuscript is the first volume of a two-volume Shahnama by Firdawsi with further Shahnama inspired interpolated texts from the Garshaspnama and the Barzunama. The manuscript has 325 folios and is copied in nastaliq script. There are two illuminated panels at the beginning of the prose and poetry sections of the Shahnama. There are 34 illustrations that appear to have been painted when the manuscript was copied and 26 simple style illustrations that can be dated to a later phase. Overall, based on the style of the illustrations, illumination, and the interpolated texts, the creation of the manuscript can be attributed to the late 17th-early 18th century in Kashmir, the northern region of India under Mughal control. Later in the 19th century, the incomplete manuscript was furnished with simple style illustrations and possibly with a new illuminated panel at the beginning of the text.
Related Works

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