Miniature from a copy of Firdawsi’s Shahnama made for Qiwamuddawla wa’l-Din Hasan. “Iskandar Contemplates the Peoples Gog and Magog”
Iran, Shiraz; 741 H = 1341
Leaf: 36 × 29.5 cm
This miniature comes from a manuscript made for the Injuid prince Abu Shaq’s vizier Qiwamuddawla wa’l-Din Hasan.
Iskandar – Alexander the Great – was transformed in the Shahnama into a son of King Darab (Darius II) and the daughter of Philip of Macedonia. There is consequently nothing strange about Iskandar vanquishing his half-brother Dara (Darius III) and becoming ruler of Iran.
Iskandar was viewed as a very wise prince and is mentioned indirectly in the Koran as the one who enclosed the barbaric peoples Gog and Magog behind an impenetrable wall. The same story is told here in the “Book of Kings.”
Inv. no. 13/1990
Sotheby’s, London, 7/7-1975, lot 25;
Sotheby’s, London, 12/10-1990, lot 157;
Kjeld von Folsach: Fabelvæsner fra Islams Verden, Davids Samling, København 1991, cat.no. 75;
Kjeld von Folsach, Torben Lundbæk and Peder Mortensen (eds.): Sultan, Shah and Great Mughal: the history and culture of the Islamic world, The National Museum, Copenhagen 1996, cat.no. 268;
Marianna p. Simpson: “A reconstruction and preliminary account of the 1341 Shahnama: with some further thoughts on early Shahnama illustrations” in Robert Hillenbrand (ed.): Persian painting from the Mongols to the Qajars : studies in honour of Basil W. Robinson, London 2000, p. 246 (omtalt);
Kjeld von Folsach: Art from the World of Islam in The David Collection, Copenhagen 2001, cat.no. 28;
Kjeld von Folsach: For the Privileged Few: Islamic Miniatures from the David Collection, Louisiana, Humlebæk 2007, cat.no. 9;
Kjeld von Folsach, Joachim Meyer: The Human Figure in Islamic Art – Holy Men, Princes, and Commoners, The David Collection, Copenhagen 2017, cat.no. 72;