"Siege of Baghdad", Folio from a Dispersed copy of the Zafarnama (Book of Victories)
Sharaf al-din 'Ali Yazdi (1424–54)
Ya'qub ibn Hasan, known as Siraj al-Husaini
Painted by Unknown
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
A.H. 839/A.D. 1435–36
Ink, opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper
Page: 13 1/8 x 9 11/16in. (33.4 x 24.6cm)
Measurements of text page with r: 9 5/16 x 6 3/16in. (23.7 x 15.7cm)
Measurements of miniature withou: 7 13/16 x 6in. (19.8 x 15.2cm)
Louis V. Bell Fund, 1967
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
This folio once illustrated a manuscript of the Zafarnama, a biography of the ruler Timur commissioned by his grandson Ibrahim Sultan. The text glorifies Timur’s many victories on the battlefield, including his 1401 siege of Baghdad, depicted here. In the painting residents of the city attempt to flee by swimming across the Tigris. The distinctively spare yet highly animated angular compositions are characteristic of manuscript painting produced in Shiraz in this period.
Hagop Kevorkian, New York (by 1940–d. 1962; his estate sale,Sotheby's, London, December 6, 1967, no. 20, to MMA)
The Iranian Institute. "Exhibition of Persian Art," 1940.
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Turks: A Journey of a Thousand Years, 600–1600," January 22, 2005–April 15, 2005.
Ackerman, Phyllis. "The Iranian Institute, New York." In Guide to the Exhibition of Persian Art. 2nd. ed. New York: The Iranian Institute, 1940. no. Gallery IX, case 7D?, p. 250.
"Ibrahim-Sultan's Illustrated Zafarnameh." Islamic Art: An Annual Dedicated to the Art and Culture of the Muslim World (1991). p. 190, ill. fig. 22 (b/w).
Roxburgh, David J., ed. Turks: Journey of a Thousand Years, 600–1600. London, New York: Royal Academy of Arts, 2005. no. 170, p. 219, ill. fig. 170 (color).
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. 124a, pp. 171, 184-185, ill. p. 184 (color).