A hero wrestles a div, or demon

A hero wrestles a div, or demon

23.8 x 22.5 cm

Gouache with ink and gold on paper.

A stocky hero wrestles a fierce div (demon), lifting and overturning him. Overcoming demons was a speciality of Rustam, a hero of the Persian Shahnama epic, but this unassuming figure lacks his usual war-like accoutrements. This coloured drawing closely follows in reverse a 15th century Turcoman composition found in one of the famous Siyah Qalam album paintings in the Topkapi Library, Istanbul.

Howard Hodgkin gave this work to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, who curated the Collection for many years. They showed it and toured it on exhibition to the Freer/Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian, Washington DC; Museum Rietberg, Zurich; the British Museum London and the Museo del Castelvecchio, Verona.

To view a high-resolution version of this image and for further information please visit the Yousef Jameel Online Centre at the Ashmolean.