view archive:
New York , Metropolitan Museum of Art (in index)
Click the boxes to tag/un-tag this page in a workbook

Sample Page
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1970 (1970.301.1-76) © 2009 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Accession Number:
Title of Work:
Shahnama (Shah Tahmasp)
Gregorian Date:
1522 (to 40)
Commissioned by Shah Isma'il, continued by Shah Tahmasp; presented to the Ottoman Sultan Murad III in 1576. In 1903, in possession of Baron E. de Rothschild; purchased 1959 by Arthur A. Houghton.
Shah Tahmasp Safavi
Estimated num folios in ms.:
Columns x Rows:
4 x 22
Page Size (h x w):
470 x 318 mm
Sample Page Folio:
Ms Type:
Detached manuscript folios
Ms Status:
Completion Status:
Ready to upload to website
Illuminations in ms:
Illustrations in ms:
78 ( 78 Shahnama )
Illustration Records in archive:
Last updated by:
Date last updated:
2017-01-15 23:05
Public Notes
The colophon of the ms. is lacking: the only dated painting (f. 516v) is dated 934/1527-8. The ms. is considered to have been started in the reign of Shah Isma'il (d. 1524) and work continued into the late 1530s, with final additions in c. 1540.

The manuscript was dispersed by its last owner, Arthur A. Houghton, the greatest remaining part now found in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran. Other folios are found in numerous private and public collections (see also under Dispersed mss).

There is an extensive bibliography concerning this supreme royal manuscript, which has been studied in detail and fully published by M.B. Dickson & S.C. Welch, The Houghton Shahnameh, 2 vols., Cambridge MA, 1981.

Most of these folios have not yet been examined for the Shahnama Project; a fully illustrated catalogue of the manuscript has been produced by Sheila R. Canby, The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. The Persian Book of Kings (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Arthur A. Houghton, Jnr., 1970 . (1970.301.1-.76) Photographs all @ 2004 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Project Notes
Presumably change in copyright statement reflects new requirements.

I have a text page that could be used as a sample page. ChM.

Still to update and complete references/bibliography.

Origin Ref:
Dickson, M.B. & Welch, S.C. The Houghton Shahnameh. Fogg Art Museum. Cambridge, Mass.. USA.
Folio Ref:
Dickson, M.B. & Welch, S.C. The Houghton Shahnameh. Fogg Art Museum. Cambridge, Mass.. USA.
Illustration Ref:
Dickson, M.B. & Welch, S.C. The Houghton Shahnameh. Fogg Art Museum. Cambridge, Mass.. USA.
Illustration in archive - 110     (back to top)
sample page
f. 018v
The Prophet Muhammad and the 'Ship of Faith' (1530)
f. 022v
Hushang celebrates the Feast of Sada (1527)
f. 023v
Tahmuras and the Divs (1527)
f. 029v
The mobad interprets Zahhak's dream (1522)
f. 059v
Faridun receives the severed head of Salm (1527)
f. 071v
The maids return to Rudaba and describe Zal for her (1527)
f. 072v
Rudaba lets down her hair for Zal to climb up (1527)
f. 073v
Zal consults the mobads about Rudaba (1527)
f. 080v
Sam before Manuchihr (1527)
f. 081v
Sam before Manuchihr (1527)
f. 083v
Mihrab gets angry with Sindukht (1527)
f. 085v
Sam receives Sindukht as envoy from the King of Kabul (1527)
f. 086v
Manuchihr and Zal (1527)
f. 087v
Zal solves the riddles (1522)
f. 104r
Zal kills Khazarvan in combat (1527)
f. 105r
Afrasiyab executes Nauzar (1527)
f. 120v
Rustam's fourth labour: he kills the witch (1527)
f. 123r
Rustam enters the cave in which Kay Kavus and his men are chained (1527)
f. 127v
The King of Mazandaran is executed (1527)
f. 130r
Kay Kavus marries Sudaba (1527)
f. 134r
Kay Kavus airborne (1527)
f. 146r
Kay Kavus summons Rustam (1527)
f. 163v
Sudaba complains again to Kay Kavus (1527)
f. 164v
Kay Kavus investigates the claim of the stillborn children (1527)
f. 174r
Kay Kavus replies to Siyavush (1527)
f. 180v
Siyavush plays polo before Afrasiyab (1527)
f. 183v
Piran proposes his daughter as a wife for Siyavush (1527)
f. 185v
Siyavush marries Farangis (1527)
f. 195r
Siyavush has a dream (1527)
f. 202v
Rustam comes to Kay Kavus (1527)
f. 204v
Faramarz captures Surkha, son of Afrasiyab (1527)
f. 210v
Giv finds Kay Khusrau in Turan (1527)
f. 212r
Kay Khusrau captures Suhrab's horse Bihzad (1527)
f. 225v
Kay Khusrau distributes gifts to his chief warriors (1527)
f. 236r
The Iranians mourn Farud (1527)
f. 241r
Piran attacks the Iranian camp at night (1527)
f. 243v
The Turanians defeat the Iranians (1527)
f. 245r
Rivniz dies, but Bahram saves his crown (1527)
f. 248r
Giv kills Tahzav in revenge for the death of Bahram (1527)
f. 268v
Rustam kills Ashkabus and his horse (1527)
f. 276v
Turanians try to avoid fight with Iranians (1527)
f. 300v
Manizha's nurse speaks with Bizhan (1527)
f. 342r
The fourth combat: Furuhil kills Zangala (1527)
f. 342v
The fifth combat: Ruhham kills Barman (1527)
f. 343r
The sixth combat: Bizhan kills Ruyin (1527)
f. 343v
The seventh combat: Hujir kills Sipahram with a blow of his sword (1527)
f. 345r
The tenth combat: Barta kills Kuhram (1527)
f. 346r
Piran escapes from Gudarz up the mountainside (1527)
f. 349v
Gustaham kills Lahhak (1527)
f. 367v
The Iranians repel Afrasiyab's night attack (1527)
f. 376v
Kay Khusrau defeats and kills the King of Makran (1527)
f. 404r
Gushtasp before Caesar (1527)
f. 434v
Isfandiyar's third labour: he fights the dragon (1527)
f. 435v
Isfandiyar's fourth labour: he kills the sorceress (1527)
f. 438r
Isfandiyar's sixth labour: he escapes from a snow storm (1527)
f. 461v
The first combat of Rustam and Isfandiyar (1527)
f. 466r
Rustam shoots Isfandiyar in the eyes with a double-pointed arrow (1527)
f. 472r
Rustam kills Shaghad before dying (1527)
f. 475r
Bahman fights Faramarz (1527)
f. 535r
Bahram gives his throne to his son and dies (1527)
f. 538r
Shapur Dhu'l Aktaf enthroned (1527)
f. 543r
Shapur captures the King of Rum (1527)
f. 551v
Bahram comes with Nu'man to his father Yazdagird (1527)
f. 568r
Bahram Gur skewers a doe and buck while hunting (1527)
f. 577v
Bahram Gur fights the Khaqan of Chin (1527)
f. 578r
Bahram Gur captures the Khaqan of Chin (1527)
f. 586r
Bahram Gur kills a wolf in India (1527)
f. 592r
Yazdagird II son of Bahram Gur enthroned (1527)
f. 595v
Khushnavaz fights Sufaray (1527)
f. 602v
Anushirvan writes to his officials (1527)
f. 622r
Anushirvan's fifth majlis for Buzurjmihr (1527)
f. 633v
Anushirvan receives the Khaqan's daughter (1527)
f. 639v
Buzurjmihr demonstrates how to play the game of chess (1527)
f. 707v
The war between the generals of Khusrau Parviz and Bahram Chubina (1527)
f. 708v
The angel Surush rescues Khusrau Parviz (1527)
f. 715v
Bahram Chubina kills the monkey-lion (1527)
f. 742v
Mihr Hurmuzd murders Khusrau Parviz (1527)
f. 745v
Fara'in is killed by Shahran Guraz (1527)