Emperor Kai – Kawus

Emperor Kai – Kawus
Mythological Shah of Iran, seated on royal throne along with his
courtiers and preparing march towards Mazandran (in North-West Iran)

by Unknown artist
dated 1880

Hand painted lithograph, folio from Shahnameh
16.7 x 10.5 in. (42.4 x 26.7 cm.)


The Shahnameh, an enormous poetic opus written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi around 1000 AD, is the national epic of the Persian speaking world. The Shahnameh tells of the mythical and historical past of Iran from the creation of the world up until the Islamic conquest of Iran in the 7th century. The Shahnameh has 62 stories, 990 chapters, and contains 60,000 rhyming couplets. The purpose of Ferdowsi was to prevent this history from losing its connection with future Iranian generations.