No. 82     Sohrab slain by Rostam

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Ferdowsi, Shahnameh
Safavid: Esfahan, September–October 1649
Artist: Mo‘in Mosavver

Opaque watercolour, ink and gold on paper

London, British Museum, 1922,0711.0.2


Like No. 36, this image illustrates the tragic story of Rostam killing his son from Tahmineh, Sohrab. The two met for the first time on the battle field, where Rostam was fighting for Iran and Sohrab for Turan. Both refused to reveal their identity. Rostam gave Sohrab a fatal wound and only then found on his arm the jewel that he had given to Tahmineh for their child. What we see here is the moment of realisation. Rostam tears his clothes in anguish. Sohrab’s expression suggests forgiveness.

In the lower left, the picture is signed by Mo‘in Mosavver with a date yielding 1649. Mo‘in Mosavver signed illustrations in at least four Shahnamehs. This image is from the earliest of them.


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