Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

"The Spy Zambur Brings Mahiya to the City of Tawariq", Folio from a Hamzanama (Book of Hamza)

Artist:
Attributed to Kesav Das (active ca. 1570–1604)
Artist:
Attributed to Mah Muhammad (active 1570s)
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
ca. 1570
Geography:
India
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on cloth; mounted on paper
Dimensions:
H. 29 1/8 in. (74 cm) W. 22 1/2 in. (57.2 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1923
Accession Number:
23.264.1
Not on view
The Hamzanama tells the fantastic story of Hamza, an uncle of the Prophet, who traveled the world spreading the teachings of Islam. The story was a popular subject for public recitation in coffeehouses, so exciting and full of fantastic elements were the tales. The young emperor Akbar commissioned an illustrated version of the manuscript consisting of 1,400 large illustrations, each over two feet tall, with text on the reverse to aid in recitation. It was the earliest and most ambitious product of the royal painting atelier, and its paintings betray an early fusion of Persian and local Indian styles.
In this painting, Zambur, a spy, brings a maid named Mahiya to town on a donkey. The figures and animals, the trees along the arcaded street, and details such as the fruit borne in panniers by one donkey are carefully observed and rendered in a more naturalistic way than would be found in contemporary Iranian miniatures. Yet the extreme diagonal of the composition has resulted in an awkward jumble of buildings, particularly on the left, where rooftops tip precipitously and a staircase leads nowhere.
Anderson Galleries, New York, December 17–23, 1923, lot 230, to MMA
Ettinghausen, Richard. "Islamic Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 33, no. 1 (Spring 1975). ill. p. 38 (color).

Swietochowski, Marie, and Richard Ettinghausen. "Islamic Painting." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 36, no. 2 (Autumn 1978). pp. 38-39, ill. p. 38 (color).

de Montebello, Philippe, and Kathleen Howard, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. 6th ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992. p. 328, ill. fig. 39 (color).

Seyller, John, Thackston M. Wheeler, Ebba Koch, Antoinette Owen, and Rainald Franz. The Adventures of Hamza. Washington, D.C.; London: Azimuth Editions, 2002. no. 60, pp. 182-83, ill. (color), (related) pp. 186-187, 268, 303.



Related Objects

"'Umar Walks around Fulad Castle, Meets a Foot Soldier and Kicks Him to the Ground", Folio from a Hamzanama (The Adventures of Hamza)

Artist: Attributed to Kesav Das (active ca. 1570–1604) Date: ca. 1570 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on cloth; mounted on paper Accession: 23.264.2 On view in:Gallery 463

"The Story of the Princess of the Blue Pavillion: The Youth of Rum Is Entertained in a Garden by a Fairy and her Maidens", Folio from a Khamsa (Quintet) of Amir Khusrau Dihlavi

Artist: Amir Khusrau Dihlavi (1253–1325) Date: 1597–98 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 13.228.33 On view in:Gallery 463

"A Muslim Pilgrim Learns a Lesson in Piety from a Brahman", Folio from a Khamsa (Quintet) of Amir Khusrau Dihlavi

Artist: Amir Khusrau Dihlavi (1253–1325) Date: 1597–98 Medium: Image: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Margins: Gold on dyed paper Accession: 13.228.29 On view in:Gallery 463

"The Eavesdropper", Folio 47r from a Haft Paikar (Seven Portraits) of the Khamsa (Quintet) of Nizami

Artist: Maulana Azhar (d. 1475/76) Date: ca. 1430 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper Accession: 13.228.13.6 On view in:Gallery 455