VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Bahram Gur Slaying the Dragon
Vm 478
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This painting is a typical example of Timurid miniature painting. On three levels, the image shows three episodes from the life of the Sassanid king Bahram Gur, inspired by the epos Haft Peykar (Seven Paintings/Seven Beauties), penned in the 12th century by the poet Nezami (about 1141–1203). In the miniature’s upper tier, Bahram Gur is seen on horseback, expressing his surprise with a gesture characteristic of Iranian miniature painting (a finger placed on the mouth). In the central section, Bahram Gur is shown fighting a dragon. The bottom area depicts a story about a shepherd who punished his disobedient dog. In fact, the scene is a parable about an unjust vizier, who is ultimately punished by Bahram Gur.

History of the Object
unknown

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Type
Painting 
Materials
Colours and gold on paper 
Measurements
Height 16.3 cm, width 11.6 cm 
Creator name
Miniature-painting workshop of the Timurid period 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Timurid Samarqand, Uzbekistan or Herat, 
Geography
Afghanistan 
Time period
AD 15th century ~ AD 15th century 
Creation date
15th Century 
Function
Work of art 
Acquisition
Purchased in an antiquarian bookshop in 1953 
Copyright
National Gallery in Prague 
Acknowledgements
Hana Nováková, Lubor Hájek 
Owner
National Gallery in Prague 
Museum
The National Gallery 
Credit line
National Gallery in Prague 

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