Asian Art

The Sasanian King Shapur I (r. 240–70 C.E.), from a dispersed Assembly of Histories (Majma’ al-Tawarikh) manuscript

ca. 1425

Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

sheet: 16 5/8 × 12 1/8 in. (42.2 × 30.8 cm)
image: 13 3/8 × 9 1/16 in. (34 × 23 cm)
other (Painting): 5 11/16 × 8 15/16 in. (14.5 × 22.7 cm)
Gift of Mary Burns Foss
Scenes of rulers, either at the court or receiving officials in a tent, were standard throughout West Asia in illustrated histories. This page is from a much larger manuscript written by the court historian Hafiz-i- Abru that begins with the time of Adam and continues into the rule of Shah Rukh, who commissioned the work. The image here features Shapur I, also known as Shapur ibn-Ardashir, the second ruler of the powerful Sasanian Empire that controlled much of the greater Persian world, including present-day Afghanistan.
Herat, Afghanistan
On view
Afghani, Islamic
Timurid dynasty (1370–1507)

Foss # W 1533 413.1937 Mary Burns Foss (Mrs. Wilson P. Foss Jr.) (1896–1987); gift in 1983 to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


Reza Mohamad Ghiasian, “The “Historical Style” of Painting for Shahrukh and Its Revival in the Dispersed Manuscript of Majma? al-Tawarikh,” Iranian Studies 48 no. 6 (2015): 902.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.