This item has been added to the Database within the Explore Islamic Art Collections project. Information is available in: English.
First Small Shahnama
The Chester Beatty Library
Hegira c. 700 / AD 1300
CBL Per 104
Coloured pigments and gold on paper
19 x 13.2 cm
Iran or Iraq
The poet Firdausi completed the writing of his Shahnama (‘Book of Kings’) in AD 1010. It is considered the national epic of Iran and in some sixty-thousand verses relates the tales of the heroes and kings of Iran, from the dawn of time until the Islamic conquest of the country in the mid seventh century. These folios belong to one of three manuscripts known collectively as the Small Shahnamas. None are dated, but they are generally thought to have been produced in about AD 1300, making them the earliest illustrated Shahnama manuscripts in existence. (Three thirteenth-century, unillustrated Shahnamas also exist.) There are, however, earlier objects (mainly ceramics) decorated with scenes from the various stories that make up the Shahnama.
"First Small Shahnama" in Explore Islamic Art Collections. Museum With No Frontiers, 2017. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;EPM;ir;Mus21;18;en
MWNF Working Number: IR 18