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Ilkhanid Illustration
Great Mongol (Demotte) Shāh-Nāmeh
Chapter 7 - Manuchihr
Zal goes as an envoy to Manuchihr

Tabriz, Persia, c.1335AD


A larger image of 'Zal goes as an envoy to Manuchihr', Great Mongol (Demotte) Shāh-Nāmeh, Tabriz, c.1335 - Ilkhanid Soldiers. The Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Per 111.4.


Zal meets king Manuchihr, asking for his mercy, from the Book of Kings (Shahnama)
Object no.: Per 111.4
Object name: Folio / Bi-Folio (Codex)
Title: Zal meets king Manuchihr, asking for his mercy, from the Book of Kings (Shahnama)
Production place: Tabriz
Object category: Manuscript
Collection: Persian collection
Production date: c. 1330
Dimensions: 592 mm x 400 mm (height x width)
Material: Paper, Pigment, Ink, Gold
Language: Persian
Description: Zal meets king Manuchihr, asking for his mercy, folio from the Book of Kings (Shahnama). Zal's romance with enemy Turanian princess Rudabeh has angered Manuchihr, but he begins to change his mind after a letter of appeal from Zal's father Sam, and after his royal astronomers predict the marriage will produce the birth of Iran's greatest warrior, Rustam. Detached folio, ink, gold and pigments on paper, later re-mounted, Persian text with framed caption and painting (with later retouches), Tabriz, Iran, c. 1330. Dateable to the era of Ilkhanid rule in Iran, a dramatic but fragmentary manuscript known as the Great Mongol Shahnama (and also the Demotte Shahnama) is today dispersed across many international collections, including eleven folios in the Chester Beatty collection.
Source: The Chester Beatty Library, Dublin



Dublin, The Chester Beatty Library
Title of Work: Shahnama (Great Mongol)
Manuscript: Per 111
Accession Number: Per 111.4
Chapter 7 - Manuchihr (120 years)
Scene: Zal goes as an envoy to Manuchihr
Dimensions (h x w): 170 x 200 mm
Format: Rectangular within borders
Reconstructed Folio: 022r
Gregorian Date: 1335 (circa)
School: Tabriz
Source: Shahnama Project



38     Fig. 189
Zal Approaching Shah Manuchihr
Image: 17 x 20 cm (6¼ x 7⅞ in.)
The Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin
(Per 111.4)
Infuriated upon hearing of Zal and Rudabaís romance, Shah Manuchihr sent Sam, Zalís father, to wage War on Mihrab, ruler of Kabul, descendant of the evil king Zahhak and father of Rudaba. Zal pleaded with his father to intercede with the king on his behalf and settle the matter peacefully. Armed with a letter from Sam, Zal made his way to Manuchihrís court to try to persuade the king not to wage war. The illustration shows Zal, identifiable by his distinctive white beard (he was born with white hair), kissing Manuchihrís foot in a gesture of deference.1 The king raises his hand in acknowledgment, and courtiers stand at attention around the throne. In a two-storied architectural extension on the left, a seated guard fills the doorway below and a woman looks down from the balcony above. Both figures become traditional staffage in Persian painting of the Timurid and Safavid periods (15th-17th centuries). The chapter heading above identifies the scene, but both the painting and the heading are pasted onto an irrelevant text page.

1.Grabar and Blair 1980, pp. 78-79, no. 11
Source: p. 254, The Legacy of Genghis Khan Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia 1256-1353

Previous: f. 019r: 'Sindukht learns of Zal and Rudaba'. Great Mongol (Demotte) Shahnama. Tabriz, Persia. Ilkhanid Illustration. Sackler Gallery, S1986.102.
Next: f. 022v: 'The mobads question Zal', Great Mongol (Demotte) Shāh-Nāmeh, Tabriz, c.1335 - Ilkhanid Soldiers. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 31.436
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