"Assad Ibn Kariba Launches a Night Attack on the Camp of Malik Iraj", Folio from a Hamzanama (The Adventures of Hamza)
Attributed to Basavana
Attributed to Shravana
Attributed to Tara (Indian, active mid-16th century)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on cloth; mounted on paper
H. 27 in. (68.6 cm)
W. 21 1/4 in. (54 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1918
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 458
The Hamzanama relates the story of Hamza, an uncle of the prophet Mohammad and an ardent defender of the Muslim faith. In this scene, Assad ibn Kariba, a supporter of Hamza shown dressed in an orange jama, takes an army of unbelievers (non-Muslims) by surprise in a night attack. In the midst of the chaos, the unbelievers attack and kill one another. The drama-filled story of the Hamzanama was a favorite of the Mughal emperor Akbar, who commissioned this magnificent manuscript in 1562. Composed of 1400 illustrations and bound into several volumes, the work took nearly one hundred artists fifteen years to complete.
Inscription: Inscribed: captioned in Persian, written in nasta'liq script "Asad attacks Iraj at night and assails [his army] with arrows"
Lockwood de Forest (American, New York 1850–1932 Santa Barbara, California), New York (until 1918; sold to MMA)
National Arts Club of New York City. "Chinese and Indian Art," December 10, 1942–January 24, 1943.
Museum für Islamische Kunst, Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. "The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the M.M.A.," June 15, 1981–August 8, 1981.
Mexico City. Colegio de San Ildefonso. "Arte islamico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York," September 30, 1994–January 8, 1995.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Indian Court Painting," March 25, 1997–July 6, 1997.
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Seyller, John, Thackston M. Wheeler, Ebba Koch, Antoinette Owen, and Rainald Franz. The Adventures of Hamza. Washington, D.C.; London: Azimuth Editions, 2002. no. 82, pp. 244-245, 271, ill. (color).
Guy, John, and Jorrit Britschgi. Wonder of the Age: Master Painters of India 1100–1900. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 10, pp. 42, 44-45, p. 45 (color), p. 44 (color detail).