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Ilkhanid Illustration
The eleventh combat: Gudarz kills Piran
Folio from the 'Second Small Shahnama' (Book of Kings) c.1300AD
Chapter 13f - The Twelve Rukhs (champions)



Object type: painting, manuscript (detached folio)
Museum number: 1948,1211,0.21
Description: Gudarz slaying Piran; painting, detached page from an illustrated manuscript of Firdawsi's Shahnama, known as the 'Second Small Shahnama'. The Turanian Gudarz killing the Iranian Piran, who lies wounded along with his white horse. Gudarz and his black horse stand behind them. Image in top half of page, with six columns of text surrounding it.
Opaque watercolour and gold on paper.
School/style: Persian
Culture/period: Ilkhanid dynasty
Date: 1340 (circa)
Production place: Made in: Iran
Materials: paper
Technique: painted, gilded
Dimensions: Height: 16.5 centimetres (sheet) Width: 13.3 centimetres (sheet) Width: 8.5 centimetres (image) Height: 16.5 centimetres (image)

Curator's comments:
After a lengthy war between Iran and Turan the aged generals of each side met in single combat. Gudarz, the Iranian, felled Piran's horse, causing Piran to flee on foot up a hill. Despite wounding Gudarz, Piran was ultimately killed, speared through the liver.

Gudarz, an aged Iranian general, is shown in the centre, having speared his equally elderly Turanian foe, Piran, who had tried to flee up a hill on foot. The figures wear the typical armour of Mongol Iran with round ear flaps suspended from their helmets and coats of mail with sections sewn onto a backing.
Source: British Museum, London



London, The British Museum
Title of Work: Shahnama (Second Small)
Manuscript: 1948-12-11-020 - 022
Accession Number: 1948-12-11-021
Chapter 13f - The Twelve Rukhs
Scene: The eleventh combat: Gudarz kills Piran
Dimensions (h x w): 45 x 83 mm
Format: Rectangular within borders
Gregorian Date: 1300 (circa)
School: Baghdad
The picture is inserted in the text at the point where Piran is escaping from Gudarz up the mountainside.
Source: Shahnama Project

Another folio from this Shahnama: Arjasp's Horsemen Killing Luhrasp
Back to the 'Second Small Shahnama' (Book of Kings), Ilkhanid Persia, c.1300AD