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Gushtasp Slaying the Dragon, Page from an Illustrated Manuscript of the Shahnama of Firdawsi

Arts of the Islamic World

The legendary Iranian prince Gushtasp slays a terrifying dragon in this frequently illustrated scene from the Shāhnāma (Book of Kings), put to verse by the poet Firdawsi around 1010. Denied the throne by his father, the prince Gushtasp left Iran only to return triumphantly after proving his worth against the dragon. In this scene, Gushtasp fulfills one of the more serious princely roles as the brave and courageous protector of the people, suggesting that court life did not always involve pomp and circumstance. Far Eastern influences abound, as in Gushtasp's exquisitely detailed, Chinese inspired cloud collar, his facial features, and even the dragon emerging from its rocky lair. This combination of Iranian and Chinese aesthetics alludes to the direct exchange between the two cultures during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, one that inspired a standardization of the khitā'ī, or Chinese-inspired, style in the art of the eastern Islamic world, especially Iran.

MEDIUM Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
DATES ca. 1482
DYNASTY Timurid
PERIOD Timurid
DIMENSIONS 13 x 8 1/2 in. (32.5 x 21.3 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 41.1025
CREDIT LINE By exchange
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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CAPTION Gushtasp Slaying the Dragon, Page from an Illustrated Manuscript of the Shahnama of Firdawsi, ca. 1482. Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper, 13 x 8 1/2 in. (32.5 x 21.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, By exchange, 41.1025
IMAGE overall, 41.1025_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RECORD COMPLETENESS Good (67%)
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