Miniature from a copy of Firdawsi’s Shahnama. “The Slaying of Siyawush”
Iran, Shiraz; end of 16th century
Leaf: 44.5 × 26 cm
Evil tongues slander good Prince Siyawush at the court of Afrasiyab, his father-in-law and king of Turan. Finally, the king decides to have Siyawush murdered, and also has his daughter Farangis whipped to make her abort the couple’s unborn child. Farangis and her son, Kay Khusraw, miraculously survive, and in time, he revenges his father’s dishonorable death.
This both lyrical and horrifying miniature shows the moment at which Siyawush is slaughtered like an animal, taking care not to spill his royal blood on the ground. The horses on the right react to the misdeed, but otherwise all is peaceful in a scene where Chinese clouds and large cranes hover over Iran’s eternally blue sky.
Inv. no. 48/1973
Kjeld von Folsach: Islamic art. The David Collection, Copenhagen 1990, cat.no. 32;
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. 290;
Kjeld von Folsach: Art from the World of Islam in The David Collection, Copenhagen 2001, cat.no. 44;
Kjeld von Folsach: For the Privileged Few: Islamic Miniature Painting from The David Collection, Louisiana, Humlebæk 2007, cat.no. 57;
Joachim Meyer and Peter Wandel: Shahnama: the Colorful Epic About Iran’s Past, The David Collection, Copenhagen 2016, cat.nr. 31;
Kjeld von Folsach, Joachim Meyer: The Human Figure in Islamic Art – Holy Men, Princes, and Commoners, The David Collection, Copenhagen 2017, cat.no. 44;