Collections: Arts of the Islamic World: The Sasanian King Khusraw and Courtiers in a Garden, Page from a manuscript of the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdawsi

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86.227.176_recto_IMLS_PS3.jpg 86.227.176_verso_IMLS_PS3.jpg 86.227.176_PS1.jpg

The Sasanian King Khusraw and Courtiers in a Garden, Page from a manuscript of the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdawsi

The painting on the page from a Shāhnāma manuscript portrays an enthronement scene from Iranian court life. The ruler, dressed in an elaborate headpiece, sits in a garden upon a raised, gilded throne, surronded by attendants courtiers, and musicians. Although the illustration appears to be somewhat generic—it could represent an enthronement setting for any given ruler—the text reveals that it actually illustrates an episode from the reign of the Sasanian king Khusraw (ruled 590–628) as recounted in the Shāhnāma. The tale describes the way in which the skilled musician Barbad became a part of King Khusraw's court. According to the story, the ambitious Barbad charmed the kind with his beautiful voice and lute playing. Khusraw, overwhelmed by Barbad's talent, dismissed his former musician, Sargish, and offered the position to Barbad. In this scene, this figures situated closest to the ruler include the attendant standing behind him, a cupbearer seated next to a wine carafe, and two men kneeling before King Khusraw, most likely representing the musicians Barbad and Sargish.

  • Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
  • Dates: late 15th-early 16th century
  • Dynasty: Safavid
  • Period: Safavid
  • Dimensions: 9 1/2 x 5 7/16 in. (24.1 x 13.8 cm)  (show scale)
  • Collections:Arts of the Islamic World
  • Museum Location: This item is not on view
  • Accession Number: 86.227.176
  • Credit Line: Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc.
  • Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
  • Caption: The Sasanian King Khusraw and Courtiers in a Garden, Page from a manuscript of the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdawsi, late 15th-early 16th century. Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper, 9 1/2 x 5 7/16 in. (24.1 x 13.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc., 86.227.176
  • Image: recto, 86.227.176_recto_IMLS_PS3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
  • Record Completeness: Good (67%)
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