Folio page with four columns of text and a painting, which shows a man and woman sitting together, with dishes laid out in front. Three other women look on. Blue and peach patterns fill the spaces between figures and text columns, with a roof extending into the top margin.
AKM442, Zal and Rudabeh in the Palace

© The Aga Khan Museum

Folio page with four columns of text and a painting that extends into the left and top margins. It shows a man on a black horse entering a building, where six female figures look on. Lilac and peach patterns decorate the walls and fill spaces between text columns.
AKM442, Zal Approaches Rudabeh’s Palace

© The Aga Khan Museum

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Zal Approaches Rudabeh’s Palace
Folio from a manuscript of Shahnameh (Book of Kings) by Firdausi (d.1020)
  • Accession Number:AKM442
  • Creator:painting attributed to Mu‘in Musavvir (d. 1697)
  • Place:Iran, Isfahan
  • Dimensions:36.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Date:1666—1667
  • Materials and Technique:opaque watercolour, ink and gold on paper
  • Zal, the Iranian prince, and Rudabeh, the Turanian princess, had heard of each other’s beauty but never met. This folio depicts Zal approaching Rudabeh’s palace at night in an attempt to finally see her. Although Rudabeh lets her hair down for him to climb up the wall, Zal respectfully refuses the offer and instead uses a tethered rope. Their subsequent marriage resulted in the birth of Rustam, the greatest hero of the Shahnameh.

Note: This online resource is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. We are committed to improving this information and will revise and update knowledge about this object as it becomes available.


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