Illuinated folio from Shah Tahmasp Shahnameh, Tabriz, Iran circa 1530 -1533
Image credit: The reddit museum
Zal was born an albino. Ashamed of his son's appearance, his father, Sam, abandoned him in the mountains where the mythical simurgh makes her home. She took pity on the infant and raised him as her own. Zal was spotted by a passing caravan and news of the sighting reached Sam, who set forth to be reunited with his son. With much persuasion, he parted from the simurgh with two of her feathers to burn whenever he needed to summon her help.
For more information about Zal and the Simurgh, see: https://asia-archive.si.edu/learn/shahnama/zal-and-the-simurgh/
School of Mahmud Muzahhib, Central Asia, Bukhara, Shaybanid, third quarter 16th century
This painting part of a private collection in Switzerland.
Image credit: Sotheby's
Exhibited: Institute du Monde Arabe, Paris, 2001
In this miniature, a Sultan who, after hearing rumours that one of his chief judges was behaving improperly, decides to surprise him. He travels to the judge’s house at night on his horse (left outside the gates) and lying drunk in the garden. A youth can be seen here offering him a cup of wine and undressing him at the same time. On the reverse side there is a Persian quatrain addressing a king, copied by the unrecorded Ramz ‘Ali.
The composition of this scene is similar to a painting signed by Mahmud Muzahhib. The same characters, especially the Sultan, the drunken judge and the youth serving him wine, share similar poses and expressions.
Mahmud Muzahhib (known to have been active 1500-1560) is regarded as one of the leading artists of the 16th-century Bukhara school. He played an important role in the establishment of the new kitabkhaneh (book production atelier) in the new Shaybanid capital Bukhara, following the fall of the Timurid Empire and the conquest of Samarqand in 1507.
زال پهلوان زابلستان
Image credit: Lesssing Archive, www.lessingimages.com
Zabulistan or simply Zabul, was a historical region in southern Afghanistan, roughly corresponding to the modern provinces of Zabul and Ghazni.