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Image of Zahhak enthroned

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Zahhak enthroned

Creation date: ca. 1435
Creation place: Iran

Other Information

Type: Manuscript Painting
Medium and Support: Opaque watercolor on paper
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Edwin Binney 3rd
Accession Number: 1972.223
State/Province: Fars Province
Dimensions: 3 3/16 in. x 6 5/32 in. (8.1 cm x 15.6 cm)


Gropper Art Galleries, Cambridge, Massachusetts ( - October 23, 1960)

Stuart Cary Welch, Cambridge, Massachusetts ( - )

Edwin Binney 3rd, San Diego, California (October 23, 1960 - December 29, 1972)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (December 29, 1972 - )

Label Copy

Asian Court Rotation
June 2007
The benevolent primeval Persian king, Jamshid, through hubris, excessive pride, lost his farr, or royal glory, to Zahhak the evil Arab king. Zahhak had been seduced by a cook, possibly the kneeling figure, who was a manifestation of the force of darkness in Zoroastrianism, the pre-Islamic religion of Iran. In this ominous scene, the two sisters of Jamshid have been brought "trembling like a willow-leaf" before Zahhak. Zahhak sat on the throne a thousand years Obeyed by all the world. Through that long time The customs of the wise were out of vogue, The lusts of madmen flourished everywhere, All virtue was despised, black art esteemed, Right lost to sight, disaster manifest; While demons accomplished their fell purposes And no man spake of good unless by stealth. Two sisters of Jamshid, their sex's crown, Were brought out trembling like a willow-leaf.
Last Updated: 6/24/2020


This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Persian and Indian Miniatures from the Collection of Edwin Binney, 3rd The Portland Art Association , 9/28/1962 - 11/29/1962

Islamic Art from the Collection of Edwin Binney 3rd Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibitions Service , 10/1/1966 - 10/19/1969

Islamic Art Across the World Indiana University Art Museum , 6/18/1970 - 10/1/1970

Tastes in Asian Art Rotation , 5/28/2005 - 11/6/2005


This object has the following bibliographic references:

Richard Ettinghausen. Islamic Art from the Collection of Edwin Binney 3rd Smithsonian Institution. Washington, District of Columbia, 1966
Page Number: no. 30

Theodore Robert Bowie. Islamic Art from Across the World Indiana University Art Museum. Bloomington, Indiana, 1970
Page Number: 33, no. 53

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