Asian Art Museum | Education

The best of Asian art at the tip of your fingers for use in the classroom or at home.

Sign up

In My Resources you can save the content you like all in one place. Get started by creating an account.

Create a new account

Hero Rustam Kills the White Demon

The hero Rustam kills the White Demon

The hero Rustam kills the White Demon, from a manuscript of the Shahnameh (Book of Kings), 1580. Shiraz, Iran. Opaque watercolors on paper. From the Collection of William K. Ehrenfeld, M.D., 2005.64.162.

One of the most frequently cited sources about Nowruz is the Persian national epic, the Shahnameh (Book of Kings), written by the poet Hakim Abolqasem Ferdowsi (940–1020). The Shahnameh is a combination of myth, legend, and historical fact. It was written to preserve Iranian history and identity. At the end of the Shahnameh, Ferdowsi writes:

Much hard labor have I done for thirty years
In the end I have revived Persia through this Persian verse.

I shall not pass away since I will remain alive
Through the seeds of this language I have spread everywhere.

Look at the manuscript page from the Shahnameh, when the hero, Rustam defeats the White Demon. How does the artist show us the theme of good conquering evil?

You Might Also Like

Related Blog Post