The Nightmare of Zahhak. Miniature from the Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp
Museum of Islamic Art
Hegira 10th century / AD first half of 16th century
Opaque Watercolour, Gold, Paper, Ink
Height: 47.2cm, Width: 32.1cm
This illustration is from the famous Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp I (r.1524-1576 AD). The particular scene shows an episode in the life of the evil king Zahhak. After making a deal with the devil to usurp the throne from his father, Zahhak was cursed with two serpents that grew from his shoulders and fed on human brains. In the scene, a distressed perspective of the architecture reflects his frightened state of mind.
Chekhab-Abudaya, Mounia and Tugwell, Julia, Imperial Threads: Motifs and Artisans from Turkey, Iran and India, Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2017.
Soueif, Ahdaf, Reflections on Islamic Art, Doha: Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing, 2011.
Watson, Oliver, Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar, Munich: Prestel Verlag, 2008.
"The Nightmare of Zahhak. Miniature from the Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp" in Explore Islamic Art Collections , Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;EPM;qt;Mus21;19;en&id=paintings
MWNF Working Number: QT 19