Home > Explore + Learn > Arts of the Islamic World > Shahnama: 1000 Years of the Persian Book of Kings > The Game of Chess

The Game of Chess

Nushirvan was known for his righteous rule and fair treatment of his subjects. He graciously welcomes the envoy of an Indian raja, who arrived with a thousand camels laden with sumptuous gifts of gold, silver, rubies, diamonds, and ambergris. Nushirvan and his courtiers are well pleased with the presentation of elegantly saddled horses and ten white elephants. After these diplomatic gifts are taken to the royal treasury, the envoy offers his most special and mysterious present: the game of chess.

detail from Nushirvan Receives an Embassy from the Raja of Hind

Detail, Nushirvan Receives an Embassy from the Raja of Hind. View full »


Please note: The Freer Gallery of Art will be closed to the public from January 2016 until summer 2017. The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Library, and Archives will remain open for the duration of the renovation. Learn more »