No. 71 Rostam slays the White Div
Safavid: Qazvin or Transoxiana, mid- to late 16th century
Watercolour and gold on silk, mounted on card
Private Collection, III.227
As in No. 47, Rostam has defeated the White Div and is extracting its liver to cure the blindness of Key Kavus. This image exemplifies a new fashion for the selection of celebrated episodes, individual figures or small groups for inclusion in albums of drawings and paintings: the traditional two-figure group has been changed from a horizontal to a vertical position. Persian painting on silk is known from c.1400 and tends to be associated with Tabriz or Herat. The Shahnameh records that silk was the normal support for letters exchanged between sovereigns.