The original of this painting is in fact a Persian miniature taken from the folio of The Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. It now forms part of the treasures of the Aga Khan Museum. Titled Salm and Tur receiving the reply of Faridun and Manuchihr, the story goes as follows:
Salm and Tur were the jealous sons of Faridun who cruelly decapitated their brother, Iraj, also Faridun's favured child. Angered, Faridun spent the coming years training Manuchihr, his grandson and heir of Iraj, to avenge Iraj. When Salm and Tur found out how strong and powerful Manuchihr had become, they sent a messenger to Faridun begging him to spare them. Of course, Faridun flatly refused and instead, swore the most gruesome deaths upon Salm and Tur. This work depicts the return of the messenger who bears this terrible response to his masters, who are visibly horrified: “The envoy having further told the message/Of Faridun, those tyrants’ heart grew sore,/ Their faces blue as lapis lazuli.”
I love how the domination of the lapis blue is used to reflect the fear of Faridun's treacherous sons. In fact I love that blue so much, a mixing bench was created around it and that miniature in real life has become the wall of my miniature house. This painting was also the inspiration for the colours on my palettes.
Then there is the old man's portrait. So much has been written around it that I don't think another word is necessary to explain the significant role it plays in the building of the abandoned house. It was even the raison d'etre for an easy easel; which turned out to be one of my favourite creations in this house.
Because it has elicited precious participation from my friends here in blogland; thanks to a glaring omission.
My dear friends, all the conversations that went on in my head when I added the splatters to the easel felt almost like you all came over for tea tonight. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this wonderful collaboration.
I think this easel is finally looking like it belonged.