"Timur before Battle", Folio from a Dispersed Copy of the Zafarnama (Book of Victories) of Sharaf al-din 'Ali Yazdi
Sharaf al-din 'Ali Yazdi (1424–54)
Ya'qub ibn Hasan, known as Siraj al-Husaini
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
A.H. 839/A.D. 1436
Attributed to Iran
Ink, opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper
11 1/2 x 8in. (29.2 x 20.3cm)
Rogers Fund, 1955
Not on view
This folio once illustrated a manuscript of the Zafarnama, a biography of the ruler Timur commissioned by his grandson Ibrahim Sultan (1394–1435). The painting, from a manuscript completed a year after Ibrahim Sultan’s death, depicts the arrival of the Timurid army before the castle of Gortin in Georgia on Friday, 14th of Muharram, 806 A.H. (August 3, 1403 A.D.). This date, which appears on the other side of the folio, has made it possible for scholars to identify the scene.
Jack S. Rofe, Scotland (until 1929; his sale, Sotheby's, London, December 12, 1929, no. 409); [ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, by at least 1953]; [ Kevorkian Foundation, New York, until 1955; sold to MMA]
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, no. 68.
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Turks: A Journey of a Thousand Years, 600–1600," January 22, 2005–April 15, 2005, no. 169.
Robinson, Basil William. The Kevorkian Collection: Islamic and Indian Illustrated Manuscripts, Miniature Paintings and Drawings. New York, 1953. no. XXI, p. 24.
"Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York." In The Arts of Islam. Berlin, 1981. no. 68, pp. 174-175, ill. p. 175 (b/w).
"Ibrahim-Sultan's Illustrated Zafarnameh." Islamic Art: An Annual Dedicated to the Art and Culture of the Muslim World (1991). p. 192, ill. fig. 29 (b/w).
Roxburgh, David J., ed. Turks: Journey of a Thousand Years, 600–1600. London, New York: Royal Academy of Arts, 2005. no. 169, p. 219, ill. fig. 169 (color).