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Image of The slaying of the lions by Esfandiar

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Bookmark: https://collection.sdmart.org/objects-1/info/5308

The slaying of the lions by Esfandiar


Creation date: 1482
Creation place: Iran

Other Information

Type: Manuscript Painting
Medium and Support: Opaque watercolor, gold and ink on paper
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Edwin Binney 3rd
Accession Number: 1972.225
State/Province: Fars Province
Dimensions: 3 3/16 in. x 6 1/4 in. (8.1 cm x 15.88 cm)

Provenance

Heeramaneck Galleries, New York, New York ( - January 14, 1965)

Edwin Binney 3rd, San Diego, California (January 14, 1965 - December 29, 1972)

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

Label Copy

Asian Court Rotation
June 2007
This page relates one of the seven trials of the prince Esfandiar. Like the seven labors of Herakles in the ancient Greek tradition, Persian heroes underwent a series of challenges in order to prove their mettle. The painting closely follows the details of the text.
…When the sun had doffed
Its dusky cloak and donned brocade of gold
He reached the station for the brave—the plain
Where he must fight the lions…
He went his way, and drawing near the lions
Turned all the world to darkness in their hearts.
There were a lion and a lioness,
And bravely both came forth to fight with him,
The lion first. He smote it with his sword;
Its face grew coral-hued; 'twas cloven from head
To midriff, which appalled the lioness,
Yet like her mate, she came on savagely.
The prince smote her on the head, which fell
And rolled upon the sand.

Sonya Quintanilla (2014) Quebec
The slaying of the lions by Esfandiar
From a Shahnama (“Book of Kings”)
Iran, 1482
Opaque watercolor, gold and ink on paper
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Edwin Binney 3rd, 1972.225
Representing the Iranian tradition of illustrating the Shahnama, this page relates one of the seven trials of the prince Esfandiar. Like the seven labors of Herakles in the ancient Greek tradition, Persian heroes underwent a series of challenges in order to prove their mettle. The painting closely follows the details of the text.
…When the sun had doffed
Its dusky cloak and donned brocade of gold
He reached the station for the brave—the plain
Where he must fight the lions…
He went his way, and drawing near the lions
Turned all the world to darkness in their hearts.
There were a lion and a lioness,
And bravely both came forth to fight with him,
The lion first. He smote it with his sword;
Its face grew coral-hued; 'twas cloven from head
To midriff, which appalled the lioness,
Yet like her mate, she came on savagely.
The prince smote her on the head, which fell
And rolled upon the sand.
Last Updated: 9/5/2017

Exhibition

This object was included in the following exhibitions:

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

Temple Palace and Mosque Rotations San Diego Museum of Art , 8/16/2010 - 00/00/00

Into India: South Asian Paintings from The San Diego Museum of Art San Diego Museum of Art , 2/28/2012 - 5/27/2012

Bibliography

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. 34b, Figure Number: 34b

Theodore Robert Bowie. Islamic Art from Across the World Indiana University Art Museum. Bloomington, Indiana, 1970
Page Number: 33, no. 59b

Dr. Sonya Quintanilla and Patrick Coleman. Visiones de la India Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Madrid, 2012
Page Number: 80, 266, Figure Number: cat. 28, p. 81

Dr. Sonya Quintanilla and Patrick Coleman. Visiones de la India (Mexico) Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia. Mexico , 2013
Page Number: 58, Figure Number: cat. 28, p. 59

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