"Alexander Fights a Sea Battle", Folio from a Khamsa (Quintet) of Amir Khusrau Dihlavi
Amir Khusrau Dihlavi (1253–1325)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Attributed to India
Main support: Ink, opaque watercolor, gold on paper
Margins: Gold on dyed paper
H. 9 3/4 in. (24.8 cm)
W. 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm)
Gift of Alexander Smith Cochran, 1913
Not on view
In the episode illustrated, Alexander the Great has ordered the construction of a tall tower surmounted by a revolving mirror in order to battle the pirates menacing the Mediterranean Sea. The protagonists appear as contemporary Indians wearing turbans and tunics, rather than ancient Greeks, and one of the fighters uses a gun, an invention from nearly two millennia after Alexander’s time.
Inscription: 'amal-i Dharmadasa
Alexander Smith Cochran, Yonkers, NY (until 1913; gifted to MMA)
Indianapolis. Indiana University. "East-West in Art," June 1, 1966–October 1, 1966, no catalogue.
Baltimore. Walters Art Museum. "Pearls of the Parrot of India: The Khamsa of Amir Khusraw of Delhi (1597/98)," June 9, 2005–September 4, 2005, no. XX.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Pearls of the Parrot of India: The Khamsa of Amir Khusraw of Delhi (1597/98)," October 14, 2005–March 12, 2006, no. XX.
Valentiner, William Reinhold. "The Cochran Collection of Persian Manuscripts." Museum of Metropolitan Art Bulletin, old series, vol. 8 (1913). pp. 80-86.
Bowie, Theodore Robert, and T. Brend. East-West in Art. Patterns of Aesthetic and Cultural Relationships. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1966. ill. fig. 307.
Brend, Barbara. "Akbar's Khamsa of Amir Khursaw Dihlavi-A Reconstruction of the Cycle of Illustration." Artibus Asiae vol. 49, nos. 3, 4 (1988/89). ill. pl. 12.
Seyller, John. "The Walters Art Museum Khamsa of Amir Khusraw of Delhi." In Pearls of the Parrot of India.. Baltimore, MD: Walters Art Museum, 2001. no. XX, pp. 84-85, ill. fig. 25 (color).
Brend, Barbara. "Illustrations to Amir Khusrau's Khamsa." In Perspectives on Persian Painting. New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003. pp. 198, 226-38, pp. 48, 264.