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King Jamishid's Messenger Delivers a Letter to King Tahmas
King Jamishid's Messenger Delivers a Letter to King Tahmas, c. 1480
Attributed to Farhad, Persian
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
11 x 8 1/4 inches (27.9 x 21 cm)
Bequest of William P. Wood, 1996
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Scenes from the Shahnama and Khavarannama
October 22, 2002 - November 27, 2005

Written by the Persian poet Firdawsi (ca. 935–1026), the nearly 60,000 couplet poem called the Shahnama (The Book of Kings) has come to be known as Persia's national epic. The poem is based on a history of the kings of Persia from their mythical beginnings through the seventh century.

This installation features seven fifteenth-and sixteenth-century miniatures, originally made for bound books, which combine text and images from the Shahnama. Illustrations of kings and heroes in fantastic landscape settings done in colorful tempera, silver, and gold complement the elegant calligraphy.


Dr. Adriana Proser • Assistant Curator, East Asian Art
Dr. Maris Gillette • Researcher, East Asian Art


Gallery 228, second floor

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