"'Umar Walks around Fulad Castle, Meets a Foot Soldier and Kicks Him to the Ground", Folio from a Hamzanama (The Adventures of Hamza)
Attributed to Kesav Das (active ca. 1570–1604)
Attributed to Mah Muhammad (active 1570s)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on cloth; mounted on paper
H. 28 3/4 in. (73 cm)
W. 22 1/4 in. (56.5 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1923
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 463
The Hamzanama recounts the fable of Hamza, an uncle of the Prophet Muhammad who was a legendary defender of the faith. This painting illustrates an episode involving 'Umar, a spy loyal to Hamza, who learns of a secret tunnel into Fulad castle from the soldier whom he has bested. It comes from a multivolume, large-scale copy of the text made for the emperor Akbar that took approximately fifteen years to complete. Unlike most books, its paintings were probably meant to be held up for an audience while a storyteller recited the text.
Inscription: Inscription in Persian in nasta‘liq script at bottom:
سیر کردن عمر بر گرد حصار فولاد و پیاده دیدن و جفت لگدی برو زدن و افتادن پیاده که او عیّار فولاد بود
‘Umar walks around Fulad castle, meets a foot soldier, and kicks him to the ground . . .
Anderson Galleries, New York, December 17–23, 1923, lot 242, to MMA
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. pp. 52-54.
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 3rd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1958. pp. 52-54.
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Mohammadan Art. Iran Library. Tehran: Bongah Tarjomeh va Nashr Ketab, 1957. pp. 52-54.
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. Publications, 36.. Lahore: The Panjabi Adabi Academy, 1964. pp. 52-54.
Brand, Michael. "Art from the Mughal City of Victory." In Akbar's India. New York: Asia Society, 1985. no. 11, pp. 31, 138, ill. p. 31 (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. 55, pp.170-171, 267, ill. (color), (related) p. 301.
Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 244, pp. 339, 348-349, ill. p. 349 (color).