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I keep meaning to create galleries for some of my books but still haven’t managed to do so. For now, I thought I might share this older piece from the Rubáiyát to keep the theme of the Year of the Horse going.


Quatrain IX
But come with old Khayyam, and leave the Lot
Of Kaikobad and Kaikhosru forgot:
Let Rustam lay about him as he will,
Or Haitim Tai cry Supper – heed them not

Watercolour with touches of gouache on (old) Fabriano Artistico watercolour paper, 280 x 200mm.

lllustration for the 150th anniversary edition of Edward FitzGerald’s translation of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, published by The Folio Society, 2009 (edition sold out*).

I ‘cheated’ a little with this quatrain: this piece properly illustrates only the third line, rather than interprets the sense of the quatrain as a whole. But it gave me the chance to depict an episode of the Shahnameh in which Rustam (a kind of Persian ‘Hercules’, if you will) and his horse, Rakhsh, fight the dragon.

*The Folio Society has released a smaller, less costly new edition reproducing all the illustrations without the original binding or the limited edition etching.