Zahhak slays the sacred cow Barmayah

ink, gold and opaque watercolour on paper; margins heavily sprinkled with gold

text copied in a superior nasta‘liq script, generally with 22 lines to the page, arranged in 4 columns, two to a couplet

47.2 x 32.1cm (folio); 27.1 x 17.4cm (written surface, recto); 37.4 x 17.5cm (maximum; illustration, verso)

Zahhak slays the sacred cow Barmayah, whose holy milk had nourished the infant Faridun, and all the other animals in sight.

[For the Shahnamah of Shah Tahmasp, see MSS 1030]

J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.301, p.265.