No. 27     The dying Rostam shoots Shaghad

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Ferdowsi, Shahnameh
Il-Khanid: Tabriz, c.1335

Opaque watercolour and ink on paper

London, British Museum, 1948,1211.0.25


This illustration is from the ‘Great Mongol’ Shahnameh, the masterpiece of the late Il-Khanid period, whose illustrations are now widely dispersed. The subject is the same as No. 25 and follows it closely in composition, though the painting is richer and darker. Rostam is shown as an old man with a radiant glow. The tree once more echoes the form of the deceitful Shaghad, pierced by Rostam’s final shot. The artist has assimilated elements of both Chinese and Arab painting into a majestic synthesis. 


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